Curbing the Summer Slump: Writing
Writing goes hand in hand with reading opportunities, and summer is a great time to engage in unique written experiences that will also enrich your child's reading. Through writing experiences, kids expand their vocabulary, open a creative outlet that doesn't involve batteries and noise producing buttons, and expand their understanding of how language works when communicating with others. Here are some fun ideas to encourage writing (and writing muscles for little ones who aren't yet putting pencil to paper):
For the very young (pre-writing experiences)
Occupational therapists will tell any parent that one of the best things you can do for your child prior to learning to write is tactile play. Tactile play involves letting your child's fingers strengthen in preparation for pencil grip holding. Warning: Some tactile play ideas are quite messy, but that is part of what makes them so fun!
For the early emergent writers (pre-school and K)
Provide opportunities to play school with a writing center in your house. Provide envelopes, paper of different sizes and shapes, and a variety of writing supplies from crayons to paint. For example, my son loved to play post office while I was working at my desk. He would write me a note (or even a bill or take out menu!) and then deliver my mail in the sealed envelope. I would write back and he would come collect and deliver the mail. He could play this game for hours and it reinforced that writing has a purpose.
Developmentally, kids need to experience the act of writing without being caught up on the accuracy so don't worry about perfection; there's plenty of time for editing in school. Basic sight words can be pointed out, and attempts using accurate beginning or ending sounds should be applauded.
For writers of every age (K on up)
Have questions or suggestions? Please share in the comments below!
Image credit: luigi diamanti via FreeDigitalPhotos.net