Help Your Child Learn to Write

Writing is an integral part of communicating. Writing helps us share thoughts, ideas, and stories with others. It involves many different skills such as spelling, lettering, research, and logical thought progression. You can help your child develop these skills. Here are some ideas on how to provide your young child with opportunities to practice writing skills.

Send letters. Help your child write letters and thank you notes to relatives and friends. You can start this as soon as they can make a mark on a piece of paper. Encourage your child to “sign” the thank you note for their birthday gift. Later you can write out what they dictate and have them copy it onto a card. As they become more proficient, you can help with spelling words as they write their message to friends.

Give your child a calendar. Have your child write important events on their calendar. Snow! First school day. New dog. Short entries like these help your child learn writing skills and help them recall when something happened.

Have a family message board. Create a family message board where you and your children can leave notes for one another.

Make shopping lists together. Write out lists for errands and the items you need to get. Have your child suggest items and help you categorize your list. Then when you are shopping, have your child read out the items on the list. If they aren’t able to read yet, read the item out loud and ask for their help in finding it.

Keep a travel diary. The next time your family takes a trip, have your child keep a diary of where you went, what you saw, how you got there, what you ate and where. Younger children can help you come up with captions for photos you took. You can use this approach for trips to the zoo, a museum, and the county fair.

Learning to write is a skill which requires lots of opportunities for practice. These ideas will help you give your child ways of practicing writing as part of their everyday life.

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