Before your homeschool student can learn to write, he or she needs to be comfortable holding and using a pencil. The motor abilities of the child will constantly improve as they grow older, however, it’s a good idea to get them started with pre-writing skills once they are one year old. You may think that’s too young, but it will be appropriate to start with some play way method activities to strengthen their finger muscles. Here are some things that you may consider starting off with your toddler.

Tracing Alphabets

For this activity you can use a regular alphabet book and have them trace the letters. Or you can have some fun and create sensory letters with different materials such as sandpaper, velvet paper, cloth on card, etc. The idea is to familiarize them with the alphabet even as they learn the shapes. As they grow older, you can give them a crayon and ask them to trace the letters on to a paper. This will help their cognitive abilities to recognize and recreate shapes.

Dot Painting

You can use edible color and a large white sheet of paper. Have the homeschooled child dip their finger in the bowl of color and then create a dot on the paper. As they grow older, you may help them create simple shapes such as a square, a circle, a flower, etc. Don’t use more than three colors at a time, and make sure that you cover all surfaces with newspaper so that you minimize the clean up.

Dot to Dot Joining

This is another good activity pre-writers can enjoy. Get a book of dot to dot activities, or you can print out some off websites that offer these sheets free. A simple search online will throw up a number of resources that you can use. Now give your child a pencil or a crayon and let them join the dots to create the image. You can also simply do the dots in a notebook and have them create circle, cross, square or rectangular shapes. Encourage them to learn numbers by making the dots numbered.