First Steps Toward Reading
- Toddlers develop the control in their hands needed in order to use writing tools. Many young toddlers are able to write, scribble and draw independently using chubby markers or crayons and paper. Keeping writing utensils in easy reach, will encourage your child to use these tools to scribble on paper. These pictures, squiggles, and lines are the beginnings of your child’s writing. At the same time, your child will learn that she can communicate ideas through pictures or symbols. It is always important to discuss writing utensil rules, only on paper; in the same room as an adult are always a good start. Some older toddlers are able to make a few letters or draw pictures. Ask your child questions about what they are drawing.
- Older toddlers like to use “writing” in their play. Using chalk, crayons, markers, and pencils, toddlers mimic how they have seen adults use writing in their lives. Toddlers can pretend to write grocery lists, shopping lists, traffic tickets, or even love notes.
- Provide opportunities for your toddler to develop the physical skills needed for writing. In order for children to be able to control tools like pencils and markers, they must develop motor coordination in their hands. Encouraging your child to stack blocks, pick up toys, finger paint, draw in shaving cream/sand and roll playdough shapes will help develop these necessary fine-motor skills.