We all know that Valentine’s Day is a day to profess our love for the important people in our lives, but Valentine’s Day cards can also be perfect excuse for having your preschoolers practice their early writing skills!
Preschoolers often need quite a bit of support for early writing, and that is OK! Here are some easy ways to help your child write “I Love You” to a special person this Valentine’s Day!
Use a Highlighter
Write out the words with a highlighter (any color will do!) and allow your child to trace the words with their pencil. Don’t worry if their writing is shaky or incomplete. They are just learning and it will take time to make it right!
A few tips:
- Help your child hold their pencil with a proper grip. Bad habits are hard to break, so if your child grabs their pencil in a fist, you’ll want to take the pencil away and have them “pinch” it instead.
- Write in uppercase and lowercase letters. We don’t write in all uppercase as adults, so do your child’s future Kindergarten teacher a favor and work on both cases from the beginning.
Write in Sand (Then Take a Photo!)
Tactile activities like writing in sand can really help kids to remember the shape of letters. Put some loose sand in a small box or on a tray. Have your child write the letters/words in the sand. Perk: if they mess up, it is incredibly easy to fix! Take a picture of each word as they write it and print (or email) their writing to their loved ones.
Use Wikki Sticks
The waxy, bendable sticks known as Wikki Sticks are perfect for helping kids to form letter.
Write the words “I Love You” on a piece of paper. Have your child bend the Wikki Sticks to match the shapes of the lettering.
Make “The Dots”
My middle son always asks me to “make the dots.” By making the dots, he means to make dot marks to represent the letters so he can trace them. There are several free fonts, including KG Primary Dots that allow you to “type” in tracing dots!
Magnetize Their Writing
Using a magnetic cookie tray, let your child build words before they write them for added practice. I prefer letters with a complete magnetic back, so that there are not magnetic pieces that can fall off and be accidentally swallowed.
Rewrite with a Dry Erase Board
I love how dry erase boards make writing exciting for kids. I like to use a lined dry erase board so that my children can practice proper handwriting from the start.
What do you do to allow your emergent writer participate in the card-making process?