The Power of Peppa Pig - inspiring young writers to start to write letters
Have you ever said something to someone, then someone else says it in roughly the same way and it gets done?
This is the power that Peppa Pig can bring to future hand writers.
Peppa Pig’s ‘Writing Little Letters’ will show your child how to write lowercase letters with ease*. As parents, your role is still very much needed in supporting and guiding your child. Yet this book makes it easier to spark their curiosity and imagination when writing.
Peppa's favourite way to travel
The book starts with Madame Gazelle asking what is Peppa’s favourite way to travel. The handwriting skill here is called pen control patterns. They can also be known as pre-writing or handwriting patterns. These are essential when moving away from mark-making on paper.
For instance, George Pig travels along a curved path. This pattern will help your child develop the skills needed to write the letters u and y. These patterns are crucial for handwriting development and are often overlooked. We are usually too keen to move on to letter-writing practices unaware of their importance.
Teaching handwriting patterns is a must
The way that we teach letter-writing skills is not the same way to teach literacy skills. We do not teach them based on how a letter sounds.
Learning how to write is a combination of three skills. A physical fine motor. A hand-eye coordination skill and visual perceptual skills. Letters are learned together in groups based on the motor movements needed.
These groups are l, i, t, u, y and j. Followed by c, a, d, g, q, o, e. Next are f and s which are tricky to master so spending time on these is wise. The letters r, n, m, b, h and p in a group together. Finally with v, w, k, x, and z. These are some of the most difficult to write.
For example, the letter x requires drawing a diagonal cross. This requires a skill called crossing the midline. Often the letter x looks like a vertical cross because the midline skills are developing.
Here are some practical tips that you can do with your child:
1. Pencil Grip
At this age, a child’s pencil grip is still evolving. This is because our hand does not stop developing until we are around 6 years old. Try to encourage a tripod grip. This is where the pen is held between the thumb and index finger resting on the middle finger. Their finger should be about 1 to 2 cm away from the pin tip. Do not worry if this takes time to develop. Sometimes, placing a sticker on the pen for where the fingers should go is really helpful.
2. Where are the feet?
It is important that your child is sitting at a table and has both of their feet flat on the floor. Their bottom should be at the back of the chair. This gives them the stability needed to control the fine motor movements in their hand.
3. Keep it fun.
Peppa will help keep your child engaged but it is important to keep learning how to write fun. There is plenty of time later for learning spellings, writing words and sentences.
4. Play letter-hunting games.
5. Be their cheerleader.
Learning how to write is a journey. It is one where our skills are constantly developing. We need fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and visual perceptual skills to write. Here are two secrets for victory. Firstly, give your child the time to develop their handwriting at their pace. Secondly, provide them with many practice opportunities.
And if you happen to pop out for an appointment where an unexpected wait might happen. Carry a portable writing kit with you. Having Peppa at hand will help pass the time away for your child.