Tips for writing with your child

Family and home life have an important impact on a child's language, literacy and numeracy learning. Read some tips on how you can help your child with writing skills. You can encourage them to write, play word games and explore the meaning of words.

Encourage your child to write

Reading and writing are linked – success in one skill helps the other. Children love to make their own birthday cards, write thank you notes, make place cards for the table, or send email to a friend. Keep birthday cards and holiday postcards to recycle as homemade cards.

Different ways to write

Keep magnetic letters or words on the fridge. You child can use these to write words.  Take chalk and write your names on the pavement. Get a white board  that they can write on and wipe clean each time.

Play writing games

Play a game where they have to find a letter in the alphabet. Show them how to form a letter and then go letter hunting in your house or in a book. They can count how many 'Ds' there are on a page. Find a picture they like and ask them to write words or a sentence describing what they see.

Help your child build their vocabulary

Try rhyming games starting with one word such as 'mat'. Say and write down all the words that rhyme, like 'cat', 'hat', 'fat' and 'splat'. You'll be surprised how fast your child's word list grows.

Explore the meaning of words

Create a word book at home and have your child add words as they learn them. Ask them to write the words they use often and talk about why.

Read and write

Read stories, newspapers, advertisements, instructions to your child every day. Discuss what you have read. You could write and leave notes for your child in different places, like their lunchbox. Ask them to write a reply or write something new.

Writing when you're outside

Don't limit your writing to using a pen on paper. They'll enjoy writing on steamed up windows. You can make writing fun  for your child by writing in:

  • sand
  • compost
  • soil
  • snow 

Signs and notices

Explain to your child why there is writing in different sizes and on different shapes. Tell them about:

  • letters
  • signs
  • advertisements
  • instructions
  • notices

Start writing at an early age

Children often learn to write before they can read. Let your child see you write grocery lists and emails.  Show them how to print their name, their friends' names and other family members' names.

Give them a notebook with lined pages so they can learn to write their letters correctly. They can also use a practice book with letters to trace. Encourage them to use a capital letter only at the beginning of a name, place or at the beginning of a sentence.

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