Play Matters to reading success
We’ve talked a lot about reading in this blog and I was reminded at a work training this week that not only do we prepare our kids to become future readers, but we prepare them to become future writers as well.
I was under the misconception that writing was all about fine motor skills. I did a lot with my kids to strengthen their pincer grasp, but I didn’t know how important shoulder, back and forearm strength was for future handwriting success.
This workshop opened my eyes to a whole new level of early literacy success.
Some of the ideas I share below came from the workshop and others came from a great website called Your Therapy Source: Gross Motor Skills and Handwriting. I’ve put it in a graphic format so you can print it out and remind yourself to add play into your day to help your child develop the muscles he needs to become a strong handwriter.
This afternoon go find a park and try out some of the activities, not only will you and your child spend some quality time together, the play will actually build the arm and hand strength needed to be a successful student.
There are also great blog posts about how handwriting develops.
Developmental Progression of Handwriting Skills at Mama OT
Activities to Practice Handwriting Skills at Home at Growing Hands on Kids
What other gross motor skills have you used to build shoulder, back, and arm muscles for writing?
- Publishing Information: Antoinette Portis. Roaring Brook Press, New York. 2016.
- Ages: Preschool
BEST FRINTS IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE is a fun book about friendship and feelings. It is a great book for preschoolers who are learning to handle arguments and conflict as they play more with children their own age. It acknowledges the common fights that happen and what the children hear in response to those fights. I can hear children giggling as they see the pictures of the friends doing things that they themselves get in trouble for.
It celebrates differences and diversity in relationships and shows how working together is so much more fun than doing things on our own.
What I love About this Book:
The vocabulary building skills in this book are actually phenomenal. The authors use of “alien language” gives parents and children the opportunity to translate the words into “Earth language.” It builds vocabulary in a fun and unique way.
It also creates a space to talk about feelings. Using the two best friends as guides, have your child tell about a time where she disagreed with a friend. Ask questions about what she felt and how she acted and what she might do in the future to solve the fight.
Kids will really gravitate to the bright, simple pictures and the common issues the book addresses. It will definitely be one you go back to again and again. Kids will have fun while learning. The best kind of fun.
How to Use this Book:
Learn to Translate. This is a great opportunity to discuss different languages. Go online or find a book at your local library or bookstore to help translate everyday words into another language. You can print out labels on the computer and go around the house placing the English and Spanish or German or whatever language you choose! Click here for a list of premade English/Spanish Vocabulary labels.
Make a story about a disagreement your own child has had. Using the feelings he felt, the actions he made and the solution he comes up with to create a low pressure way to work through feelings and help your child name them when he feels them.
Create your own alien. Use Playdo or paint or crayons or whatever you have on hand to create your own version of the planet Boborp and friends Omek and Yelfred. Drawing, coloring and Playdo are great ways to build hand strength for future handwriting.
What to Read Next:
(I am an Amazon Affiliate. When you click on a picture it will take you to Amazon, where if you make a purchase I receive a percentage of the salem.)
What are your favorite books about friendship? Comment and share!