Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How Can Parents Help Your Young Child to Build Pre-Writing Skills

Like reading, writing is another basic skill, which lays the foundation for children’s future success. In addition to help your child form a good reading habit, parents should observe your child’s learning stage and support your child to develop writing skills properly. Children usually learn to print first. However, they are not able to write well until they have developed good fine-motor skills, we call them pre-writing skills.

Fine-motor skills development demands that children are able to accurately and effectively use the small muscles in their hands. These intrinsic muscles will be used for the rest of their lives and for essential functional activities. Childhood is the critical time to properly develop these muscles. Well developed fine motor skills are essential for kids’ future success.

Help your child develop strong fine-motor coordination

Fine-motor is usually defined as the ability to coordinate the action of the eyes and hands together in performing precise manipulative movements. As we know, most activities, which are called bi-manual activities require the use of the two hands working together to perform the task. There are some single-handed manipulative tasks are referred to as uni-manual activities; for example, using a hand to do drawing and handwriting.

In general, children show the most improvement in simple fine-motor control behaviors from 4 to 6 years, more complex control behaviors tend to improve gradually from 5 to 12 years, some fine-motor skills, like isolated finger, hand, wrist, and foot movements tend to improve significantly from 5 to 8 years. Proficiency in fine-motor control allows children to develop skills that will have both consequences immediately and in their later life.

Tips for parents

Well developed fine-motor skills are foundation for kids to learn writing and perform many essential functional activities in their lives. Fortunately, parents can do a lot of things to help your child’s fine-motor skill development.

We recommend you to encourage your child do the following activities to help him or her develop the balance, precision, and hand-eye coordination that are needed to perform the fine-motor skills used in handwriting and other tasks your child will involve in his or her life.
  • Play with small blocks and other miniature toys, such as Lego’s
  • Learn to master some everyday skills such as tying his or her shoes, buttoning and zipping his or her clothes
  • Turn things over or turn pages of a book
  • Screw and unscrew the cover of a bottle of water
  • Play some games that involves the handling of cards and small pieces
  • Play games that require precise hand and finger control
  • Do drawing, painting, and coloring
  • Play puzzles
  • Play with small objects such as coins
  • Make crafts using crayons, marking pens, scissors, glue, finger paints, and tearing paper
  • Be able to use one finger at a time, such as in playing the piano or typing
Above all, be patient with your child because it does take longer for children to learn skills than parents think. Give your child sufficient time let him or her practice, enhance, and evaluate his or her fine-motor skills. Encourage your child by praising his or her efforts often. Please remember, every child has a different pace in acquiring the fine-motor skills. The more your child uses his or her fingers in activities, the sooner and the better he or she will acquire these skills.

To improve your parenting skills refers to Great Parenting Books.

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