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What are prewriting skills?

What are prewriting skills? These are the fundamental skills that our children need to develop so they can write. These skills also contribute to a child holding the pencil or pen, drawing, writing, copying and even colouring.

These are the strokes that most letters/numbers and our early drawings are made up of! They are mastered in a sequential order and at an age appropriate level.

A child is required to have the prewriting skills to be able to develop the ability to hold and move the pencil to produce writing that is legible. If these skills are underdeveloped, it will lead to lots of frustration and the child not wanting to write because their writing is not legible and it can even cause fatigue. This will result in a lack of self-esteem and poor performance in school.

So, how can you tell if your child has a difficulty in this area?

  • Poor pencil grasp.
  • Poor upper limb strength.
  • Messy, spidery or illegible handwriting.
  • Very slow handwriting.
  • Uses their whole hand to manipulate objects rather than a few fingers.
  • Dislikes colouring, writing or drawing.
  • Does not stay within the lines when colouring.
  • Hand aches when writing.
  • Too much or too light pressure on the paper when writing.
  • Diffuculty coordinating both hands together.
  • Poor eye-hand coordination.
  • Can verbally discuss but has difficulty putting it down onto paper.
  • Unable to draw the prewriting shapes.
What are prewriting skills?

How can you help to improve these areas? Try:

  • Play dough activities – rollling, being creative.
  • Drawing/writing on a vertical surface.
  • Threading/lacing activities.
  • Scissor activities – cutting out geometric shapes, making pictures out of these.
  • Finger games – incy wincy spider.
  • Craft activities that involve using egg cartons, old boxes, wool, paper.
  • Lego/Duplo building.
  • Tweezers – picking up small objects, the game Operation.
  • Daily activities to improve finger strength – opening jars, crisp packets, climbing wall, playing the piano, finger exercises.
  • Prewriting shapes – practice drawing these (see above).

Don’t forget you can contact us at any time for a chat or click on the links below for some more helpful information:

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