Fairfax Early Childhood Partnership's February 5-4-3-2-1 Early Childhood Tips for Today! Writing!


5 Things to Know or Do 5 Things to Know or Do:

Start in the trunk: Children need to develop strength in their large muscles, like their trunk or torso, in order to use the small muscles in their fingers and hands.  That means tummy time for babies, and plenty of opportunities to roll, reach, crawl, climb, push, and pull, as children grow bigger and bigger.

Focus on the fingers: Fine motor skills are movements that use the small muscles of the hand, fingers, and thumb.  Developing strength and control in these muscles will help prepare young children to draw and write.  Provide opportunities for finger feeding, squishing play dough, painting with fingers, snapping buttons, and zipping coats.  

Read and model: Reading to babies and young children every day will help them understand the connection between spoken words and print.  Invite your young child to watch you when you write shopping lists, thank you notes, and letters. Talk to your child about what you are writing. 

Make time to explore:  Provide young children with a variety of writing materials such as crayons, markers, pencils, and even chalk.  Make sure they have different types, sizes, and colors of paper to choose from. You can even include tape and stickers to make cards and books.   

Accept their attempts: Children are learning that their pictures and words mean something.  No matter what it looks like, take their writing seriously! Show an interest in what they write, and ask questions about their work.  Put their work up for everyone to see.

4 Children Read Alouds 4 Children Read Alouds

  1.  Shopping with Dad by Matt Harvey (Fairfax Library) It’s Saturday, and one small girl and her Dad are heading for the supermarket while Mom is working.  The pair consults Mom’s long shopping list. Will they be able to find Danger Jam and Octopus Underwear?  Fast-paced, funny with a simple, uplifting message, this playful rhyming read-aloud is guaranteed to have you laughing out loud!
  2.  Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (Fairfax Library) One evening, Harold decides to go for a walk in the moonlight.  Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of wonder and excitement.  Full of funny twists and surprises, this charming story shows just how far your imagination can take you.
  3.  I Wrote You a Note by Lizi Boyd (Fairfax Library) This simple storybook follows the journey of a young girl’s note to her friend as numerous unsuspecting animal messengers pass it along.  When Turtle comes across the note, he makes a raft out of it; Duck uses it as a dock for her ducklings; and so forth. The repetition and rhythm of the text make for a captivating read-aloud and the last page reveals the contents of the note.
  4.  It Came in the Mail by Ben Clanton (Fairfax LibraryLiam really wants some mail, so he writes a letter to his mailbox asking for something in return.  His mailbox delivers, sending Liam more than he could have hoped for…and how! But as the mail starts to pile up, Liam realizes that the best packages and parcels are even better when shared with friends.

3 Links to Visit 3 Links to Visit

  1. Zero to Three: Learning to Write and Draw
  2. NAEYC: Promoting Preschoolers’ Emergent Writing
  3. !Colorín Colorado!: Helping Young Children Develop Strong Writing Skills

2 Points to Access Research 2 Videos to View

  1. Improving Your Child’s Fine Motor and Gross Motor Skills
  2. Early Literacy: Writing

1 Video to View 1 Point to Access Research

  1. From Scribbles to Scrabble: Preschool Children’s Developing Knowledge of Written Language