Did you know that sharing books with your little people can actually help get them get ready to write?
Here are 7 ways you can use picture books to prepare your child…
1. Encourage them to follow lines on the page
You might find your child does this instinctively, but if you spot an illustrated path or a trail on the page, encourage your little one to follow it with their finger. My boys’ favourites include the ladybird’s trail in What the Ladybird Heard (when she whispers in the animal ears) and the rocket trail in Marshmallows for Martians. Maze books with paths to follow are great for this too.
Jo from Jo Bradley Learning recommends you also use books with patterns in them such as zig zags and loops (these mimic letters such as z, e, and n) and look out for illustrations including distant birds which are similar to the ‘m’ shape.
2. Read books with indents
Having worked out my boys loved to follow lines on a page, I was so excited to find these indented books which have actual grooves for littlies to follow with their fingers; these are great for younger children who can find following a flat trail a bit more difficult. Follow Me on the Move is a brilliant example of this kind of book, but there are quite a few different ones on the market.
3. Choose books with pull-out tabs
Books with tabs to pull are great to exercise the finger muscles and help hone the pincer grip which is essential for good pen control (as well as for holding cutlery). The better your child’s fine motor skills, the easier they should find it to hold a pencil.
4. Follow the words with your finger
It may seem obvious to us, but many children arrive at school and don’t know that we read from left to right. By occasionally following the words with your fingers as you read it will help them understand that we read – and write – from left to right.
5. Encourage your child to turn the page
Turning the pages reinforces the concept of reading and writing from left to right. It also supports development of your child’s pincer grip.
6. Share alphabet books
Another obvious one, but alphabet books help familiarise children with our different letters. Try and find books that include lower case as well as upper case letters. You don’t have to read the full book in one sitting – pick out individual pages and encourage your son or daughter to trace over the letters with their finger.
7. Find books that include written elements
What better way to introduce your child to writing than by sharing books that include hand-written elements? A classic is The Jolly Postman, but younger readers might prefer books like Julia Donaldson’s lift-the-flap Postman Bear story and Dear Panda – a tale about a young girl who becomes friends with the panda she writes to at the zoo.
Pop on over to my blog page for more tips and advice on sharing and enjoying books with the little people in your life, or browse the brilliant choice of books available in my 3 for £10 deal.