Learning to write can be stressful for toddlers. Having to control the writing material and doing deliberate movements takes time and effort, which can be discouraging for your little tot. Do not be pressured for your child to develop good handwriting once he starts holding a paper and a pencil. Starting to write is not easy, and all you can do is to help your child prepare and practice his motor skills.
Here are some activities that do not involve actual writing, but will help with your toddler’s hand muscles and coordination to make learning to write easier for him.
- Paint With Cotton Swabs
Cotton swabs are not just for the ears, but can also be used for painting. The size of the cotton swab is perfect for the little hands of your tot to develop the right degree of dexterity. Get your little one a colouring book or a piece of paper. Bring out a few pieces of cotton swabs and paint, and let your child create his own masterpiece.
- Make Paper Balls
Put scratch papers to good use by using them as tools to develop your child’s motor skills. Give a few pieces to your little tot and show him how to crumple papers into balls. This many not seem too relevant in terms of teaching him to write, but scrunching papers will train your child’s hand strength for a better grip.
- Knead Some Playdough
A sure hit toy for your toddler is playdough. Aside from being a fun and creative toy, creating figures enhances your child’s motors skills. The simple acts of rolling, pressing, squeezing and pinching will greatly help in building your child’s hand strength.
- Cut and Paste
There are many activities that include cutting and pasting of objects, which are awesome actions for developing dexterity and strength. One simple activity is to draw a shape on a paper, and then asking your child to fill up the shape you drew by pasting cut outs of papers. For the cut-outs, you can use old newspapers, magazines, flyers and brochures or any paper you’re no longer using.
Beyond all of these activities, remember to allow your toddler to doodle whenever he likes to. Have papers, crayons, pencils, markers and pen ready, so he can use them anytime he likes. Any activity that requires heavy use of hands will greatly help in preparing his motor skills and hand strength for writing.