Even though my daughter is writing only a few words on her own and definitely not writing sentences, we still write together to work on developing writing skills. Writing together with your child is an easy way to teach writing to your preschooler and can be suited to fit your child’s interests and ability levels.
Since we were going to read Lott’s Tea Party for Memetales Readathon 2012, I created a pre-reading writing together activity to prepare my daughter for reading the book. I asked my daughter, “Pretend you are going to make a tea party for your friends. What do you need to do to get ready for the tea party?”
We wrote directions for “How to Get Ready for a Tea Party.” I am sharing some tips on how I write together with my daughter.
How to Write Together with Your Preschooler
- Create a specific topic to write about. Pick a topic that is familiar to your child.
- You will be doing most of the physical writing if your child isn’t writing yet.
- Before you begin writing, converse about the topic by focusing on your child’s prior experiences.
- The child will narrate what to write. My daughter came up with most of the ideas to be written for how to prepare a tea party.
- Your child will physically write parts based on what she knows well for writing. My daughter knows beginning sounds well, so she helped write first letters for this piece of writing.
- If your child doesn’t know how to write letters, your child can trace letters or draw pictures to go with the words.
- Focus on one skill for content. Since we were writing directions, I focused on teaching my daughter to write steps in sequential order, and we conversed about that the most.
- Choose one technical aspect of writing to work on while writing together. I introduced the period, a punctuation mark.
- Don’t point out every mistake your child makes while writing.
- Once you finish, read the finished piece. Encourage your child to repeat the sentences after you. Your child may point to the words as you read.
- Notice (in your head) the writing that was difficult for your child. At a later time, work on that skill. My daughter had trouble writing the lower case a, and we worked on writing that letter at a later time.
- The more writing skills your child develops, the more your child will help in physically writing.
We did this activity as part of the Memetales Readathon 2012, and it’s not too late to join in the fun and get free ebooks to borrow to keep your child reading this summer. Click here to find out more about how you can sign up your child. Memetales will donate money to help kids around the word go to school for each new member that signs up for the Readathon.