A preschooler's writing troubles often stem from a difficulty with holding the pencil. There are a lot of activities you can try at home that can help strengthen your child’s finger muscles and prep her for writing letters and numbers. “Try putting clothespins on cardboard, tearing paper and placing ping pong balls in egg trays,” Sophia Viola, a preschool teacher at Blended Learning Center in Manila, told SmartParenting.com.ph.
Afterward, practice your child's pencil grip and develop her fine motor skills with these pre-writing worksheets. Make sure you're with her while she works so you can check if she's holding the pencil correctly. (To teach your child proper pencil grip, click here.)
Education.com has a wide variety of free printable worksheets for preschoolers to high schoolers on a good selection of subjects. We recommended it for our worksheet lists for reading and writing, and math as well. To find printables for developing fine motor skills, simply search for the keywords “tracing”, “coloring” and “prewriting.”
But, to be able to download them, you have to sign up either with your email, Facebook or Google account. In our experience, it's easy enough and takes less than a minute. Being a member also lets you create a collection to compile all of your child's favorite reading worksheets together.
Worksheets also allow for your child to learn in multiple areas at once. There are some from Great Schools, for example, that develop pre-writing skills and help your child “read” pictures (e.g. drawing a line from an animal to its favorite food). You'll also find connect-the-dot ones that familiarize your child with numbers. The illustrations double as coloring pages too. Whether beginner or intermediate, you'll find something for your child here.
Tip: Each worksheet comes with helpful instructions for parents on the second page. For example, this for the sheet on the left above: “Before using a pencil, encourage your child to trace the path with a finger. The aim is for your child to draw a continuous line from left to right and get used to the feeling of moving across the page.”
All Kids Network is a great site to find a variety of worksheets on a range of subjects for preschoolers -- pre-writing, reading, math and more. We love that a lot of their activity sheets are always colorful and enticing. For worksheets that are a little more challenging but still help with writing control, look through their printable mazes and dot-to-dot activities.
Run by a kindergarten teacher, School Sparks is a resource site for parents looking to make sure their child starts preschool already equipped with skills like writing. So, it’s a great site if you're looking for worksheets for your child who doesn't go to school yet. You'll be able to find hundreds of colorful worksheets for developing fine motor skills, alphabet writing and more.
For fine motor worksheets, “it is extremely important to watch your child as he completes each tracing worksheet so you can ensure that he is gripping the pencil correctly and does not regress to an incorrect pencil grip,” said the site. Start with the most basic tracing exercises and slowly move on to more difficult ones as your child becomes comfortable with his grip.
K5 Learning is primarily an educational resource site for reading and math enrichment. Some of the simpler worksheets double as good practice for developing fine motor skills and as an introduction to shapes and letter recognition. They can be a little simple at times and lacking in creativity, but we like that the worksheets are all free, and neatly categorized and arranged making what you're looking for easy to find.