In this series, we have been examining practices that will help you raise a reader: reading, writing, singing, playing and talking. These easy- and fun-to-do practices are the early literacy building blocks. Today’s post on writing may surprise you, as there’ll be very little writing involved!
Write with your child. For this practice, I’m going to ask you to suspend your definition of “writing.” Of course your youngster isn’t writing essays yet….or possibly even their name. And that’s just fine! Writing at this age is more about strengthening those hand muscles as well as developing fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination. “Writing” can actually be playing with clay…or doing fingerplays…or scribbling with a crayon. Those first two activities are great for developing the muscles needed to hold a pen or a pencil.
Even more exciting is the scribbling with a crayon, as your child is making their first marks and beginning to understand that we express ourselves through writing. Just ask your preschooler to translate what those scribbles mean, and you might well get a loooong and detailed story. When you think about it, our own writing is made up of marks to which we have assigned meaning, and that’s what your preschooler is doing when they scribble or draw. Reading and writing go hand-in-hand: the written words on the page are what we read to be informed, be transported, or be inspired. So get ready, get set….and WRITE with your child!
Check out these books that feature writing, drawing, or fingerplays.
Summary of The 5 Early Literacy Practices
The five early literacy practices are to read, write, sing, play, and talk with your child. Each of these practices will help your child be ready to read when the time is right. The five practices are easy, fun, and you’re probably already a pro at them. Read great books from the Library together; let your child color and scribble; break out in song whenever you can; have fun and play together; and, finally, enjoy time just talking with your child. In other words, keep doing what you’re doing, and your child will have the building blocks necessary to become a reader.