What to do with this activity?
Even before your child goes to "big school" they can enjoy looking at letters and making marks. You can show them the first letter of their name and say "that's your letter", but don't worry if they don't recognise it yet. There is plenty of time for learning letters and sounds when they go to school.
If you do want to look at letters, you can hold their hand and go over a big letter. Enjoy the shape and let your child make a mark if you like. For colouring-in you could print out one or two of these drawing sheets from Fun2write. Talk about the pictures together, and make marks on them.
If your four year old likes looking at letters, they might also enjoy playing a letters game you can download to your smartphone. For an Android phone try a free app called ABCHandwriting (from divmob). For your iphone have fun with a similar free app called ABC Letter Tracing.
There are at least four stages in learning to write. The first is movement - your child learning to control their body and their hands - reaching, feeling and holding things - is part of this first stage.
The second stage is making marks - seeing that if you put this crayon here and move it, it makes a mark.
Drawing is a third stage.
The fourth then is learning how to make letters and later words.
For your child, the more they are aware about how useful writing is, the better. Seeing you writing is great and you pointing out other people writing will help them see how useful it is too.
It’s always good to keep crayons and paper close at hand, so that you can give them to your child anytime to play with.
Write words under your child’s drawing – like their name or what they have drawn – that will help them understand the meaning of words.
Later you could clip 10 or 12 of these drawings together to make a book. This will show your child how books can be made.
Let your child see you writing – notes, lists, letters and emails. If you don't write much yourself, show your child other people writing when you are out and about.
Encourage your child to use ‘pretend’ writing in play - writing their own name, notices or price lists. You could even give them a little notebook when you go to the shops or when they’re playing ‘shop’ with their friends.
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