Let’s have a go at writing

Having a go at writing and drawing at an early age helps children learn and understand how ideas are communicated.

Encouraging writing through play and everyday learning opportunities can help boost your child’s interest in letters and words, to provide the foundations of reading and writing skills for later years.

Creating opportunities for your child to get involved in writing and drawing can start at home. Provide materials for your child to use (pens and paper, chalk, crayons or whiteboard makers and a laminated card etc.) and demonstrate how to hold them to make marks on the page.

 Squiggles and lines

Allow your child to explore shapes and lines that can be made with the writing tools, investigating how thoughts and ideas can be communicated visually. Role-play writing helps children understand the link between written symbols, words and meaning, even though their early writing attempts may be simple squiggles and lines. Take an interest in squiggles and other attempts at writing that your child makes and ask them to read it out to you.

 Understanding sounds

An early understanding of writing helps children understand that letters are used to represent the sounds you hear in words. This can help develop an understanding of the link between sounds and the letters of the alphabet.

 Making it part of the game

You can incorporate writing into playtime by creating name tags or shop signs, or take advantage of real life opportunities to show your child how writing is used every day in writing lists, notes or letters.

  • Show your child how to record their own ideas by writing down things they suggest, like an idea or story.
  • Discuss some of the different words that you use or the way you can make a sentence, making links to words or letters your child already is familiar with.

Image Young girl practices her writing at an early years service

Published — 15 October 2016 Last updated — 13 February 2019

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