Encouraging Prewriting Skills in Toddlers
Ai Lian Lim
Published on October 28, 2017
Home & Family / Babies

Most parents are generous and encouraging when it comes to providing their toddlers with toys. They enjoy watching their child play with soft toys, toys that light up, noisy toys, toys that move, etc.... Basically, parents are always keen on things that can enhance their toddler's coordination, movement and thinking abilities. However, an important "toy" that is often overlooked is that of a pen or pencil.

Many parents are apprehensive when it comes to arming their toddler with a pen or pencil. Below are some of their concerns: 1. It's dangerous. What if he pokes his eye out? 2. She will just draw everywhere. It's so troublesome to clean off her scribbling on my wall, floor and tables. 3. He can't even control his movements yet. He just scribbles. I'll let him have a pen when he is older.

It is better to find solutions to your concerns then to deprive your child of a wonderful learning experience. A toddler that is not given ample opportunities to scribble is at a disadvantage.

Now, you may ask, when do I start? The answer is simple, start when they are ready. Every child develops at a different rate. For example, younger siblings may pick up the skill earlier and quicker because they have an older sibling to model after. You know your child best. Provide the opportunities and observe their readiness. Once they are ready, have pencils and paper readily available and easily accessible to encourage the learning

Another question would be, how to start? Children learn best through modeling. You can start by having drawing sessions with your toddler on your lap. Even better if you illustrate while telling a story. Don't worry if your dinosaur looks like a dog. You do not need to be Van Gogh to teach your child what a pencil can do. Later, give them a pencil and see what they do with it. Some toddlers may need to be taught how to hold it. Some are naturals and will take it like fish to water.

It is important that you do not rush your toddler into drawing shapes and writing alphabets. Allow the free expression of scribbling as it is a crucial stage to their development. You disrupt their learning process when you ignore their scribbling and push them to learn how to "draw properly".

Another important factor is to make writing fun. Writing doesn't just have to be paper and pencil. Children love to experiment with blackboards and chalks, and white boards and markers. Kindergartens these days can dish out really boring work. Kids come home copying the strokes over and over again. Where is the excitement? How about blowing up a balloon and then scribbling on it? How about pretending you're a policeman scribbling a summon?

Prewriting skills starts from the home and not in kindergartens. So parents, provide the opportunities, be creative and be encouraging. Your child's potential is waiting to be discovered.

Ai Lian Lim - EzineArticles Expert Author

Article written by Lim Ai Lian, owner of http://valuebookshop.com, a premier specialty bookshop for parents and children in Malaysia and Singapore. She blogs at http://mamasbagoftricks.blogspot.com

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