What to do with this activity?
Carry a small box of crayons and a notebook with you when your are out with your child. Then they can make a picture anytime!
Or you might like to download an app called "PicsArt for Kids" for your smart phone or tablet. Click here to find a version suitable for iphones and and ipads, and here for a version for android phones and tablets.
Make sure you supervise your child if they are using your phone or tablet. It's a good idea to make it a special treat. Using the app your child can:
- - draw a picture with their finger, or draw on top of a fun picture page;
- - colour in pages;
- - draw circles, triangles and other shapes that are highlighted in the pictures;
- - save pictures they make which you can print out later from a computer.
Why am I doing this?
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.
How can I do more?
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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