In order to write, children must have a combination of mental and physical development. Children need the skills of concentration, memory, and language. They physically must have the strength and the use of muscles in their fingers and hands.
Here is an outline of the most important stages of your child’s writing to recognize and encourage:
Scribbling – This stage begins around 15 months to 2 ½ years. Scribbling is exploring space on paper, connecting the top and bottom, and the space in between. Children begin to understand that movements make scribbles.
Drawing – Around 2 to 3 years, children draw purposeful lines. They may draw open circles and diagonal, horizontal and vertical lines of all sizes. They hold markers between the thumb and index finger. Children like using a variety of colors and textures and working with scissors.
Phonemic Stage – At 3 ½ years, children begin to draw patterns, lines, dots, and curves. They imitate writing and know that drawing and writing convey meaning. They may name letters, and “words” will include consonants first and vowels after.
Transitional Stage – Writing begins to look like their native language. Spelling reflects how the word sounds rather than the spelling of it. This develops into correct spelling. In this stage, children explore words being written on more than one line. They learn to write their name before writing other words.
Pictures and Words – At 4 to 5 years a child’s writing includes words and pictures. They have the intellectual ability to hold images in their brains long enough to transfer it to paper. They make creations and label them, and may plan their writing or drawings ahead of time. Writing skills will continue to progress through schooling.
*Writing skills are developed best when parents and teachers guide their child in practice
Adapted from Rose Welton 1/13/17
The Upper Room Child Development Center practices curriculum to help your child build these skills in writing from an early age. For more information on our Child Development Center click here.
Contact Bethann Roitz for details on how to enroll your child in our center today!