Helping our little ones learn to write is one of the most exciting and nervous times one can have as a parent. It marks the beginning of their ability to articulate themselves not just vocally, but in writing too. Over the years, they’ll develop a handwriting style. Then a literary voice. Finally, a distinctive tone which separates their writing from the rest of the world.
Of course, it’s all about getting there first. The ages of 4 and 5 are crucial in the development in of our children’s handwriting. So how can we give them the best start possible? By getting your kids to write on different sized bits of paper. Even wallpaper improves handwriting!
Why would various paper sizes help?
There’s a common mistake that many parents and teachers make with children. They assume that getting kids used to lined A4 paper as soon as possible is the best way. In fact, at the early stages of writing, it’s more important that the child enjoys that writing experience. That often means writing on bigger paper.
Instead of a focus on tiny, detailed hand movements, get kids involved in their handwriting by letting big, sweeping movements into their exercise. Not only does it help build a connection between the child and their handwriting, but it can also help develop key writing muscles.
What kind of paper should I use?
Honestly, there’s no special paper that you should be using for this task. Almost anything works! Whether it’s a sheet of wallpaper that’s been leftover from decorating or a newspaper, giving your child the chance to experiment away from the drab normality of the blank or lined sheet of A4.
It doesn’t have to be big paper either! You could use small, shaped sheets of paper or paper cut into special designs – whatever can help spark your child’s imagination. Graph paper, post-it notes and flipbooks all provide a break from the norm, and will help your child feel a sense of excitement and exploration around writing.
The beauty of teaching children to write at this age is that their imagination is endless. By harnessing that imagination, you can introduce writing techniques gently, all whilst keeping them engaged.