"Mommy, Mommy! Look what I wrote!"
That's a frequent exclamation in my house now that I have a first grader. My child is definitely a budding writer and has been for quite sometime. Now I can see proper letter formation, the use of both upper and lowercase letters, and even correctly spelled sight words, but that hasn't always been the case. Her first attempts at writing were not so easy for me to interpret and define as writing.
The continuum of writing begins long before our children go off to school. It actually begins when they watch us write -- making grocery lists, doing crossword puzzles, signing checks. Soon they are trying to emulate what they see by making all sorts of scribbles and telling us what they say. Scribbles make way for patterns and lines, which lead to drawings with increasingly more detail.
To support your budding writer at home, provide a variety of developmentally appropriate materials for them to use in their attempts at writing. Crayons, pencils, tablets of paper, notecards are only a few of the essentials. Finger paint, play dough, child-safe scissors, child-sized tweezers, eye droppers, and kinetic sand are a few other options for young children. These materials will encourage your child to be creative and help them to strengthen their fine motor skills at the same time.
For more information, check out Learning to Write and Draw at zerotothree.org.