Ideally, everything your preschooler learns should be a game. Learning through fun and play has been proven to be the most effective kind of learning at that age. So how do you begin to teach writing? By giving your child a pen, a piece of paper and starting letter-tracing? This method is fun for some kids, really boring for others and is universally devoid of all sensory stimulation. Translation: no kid would sit for a while and trace the letters.
Here’s what we do.
1. Give your child a tray, filled with sand or salt or flour. Teach them how they can draw on these materials, using their finger. Then, give them an index card with a letter on it and teach them how to copy this letter in the sand, using their finger. Gradually, go through many letters and even start to spell words ( this may take some time.)
2. Move on to a stick. Make sure your child is holding a small stick the same way one would hold a pen. Ask the child to draw on salt or sand or flour, using this stick. Then, move to writing letters with the stick.
3. Finally, give your child a pen and a piece of paper and practice writing letters. The hand-eye coordination, the finger strength and the sensory stimulation your child has received from working with their salt tray would come very handy!
* To make this game more fun, place your salt, flour or sand in a ziplock bag with some food coloring and shake vigorously: you will have colored material to work with.
Painting on salt is fun to do once you are done working on your writing technique.