Early Literacy Tip: Exercise Fingers and Hands

What children need to know about reading and writing before they can read or write is called early literacy. 

As your child’s caregiver, you are their first teacher. The greatest amount of brain growth occurs between birth and age five, a time your child spends with you. By age three, 85% of the brain’s core structure is formed. As a child ages, the brain gets rid of weaker synaptic connections in favor of stronger ones. We can improve the strength of synaptic connections with experiences that reinforce learning that has already occurred.  

In our Building Blocks to Early Literacy series, we will share early literacy tips for you to do at home to help your child get ready to learn to read.  

Today’s Early Literacy Tip is: Exercise Fingers and Hands

Getting your child ready to learn to write is one of the most important benchmarks in getting them ready to learn to read. The process of learning to write is made up of many small steps all of which are critical in preparing them for the reading journey ahead of them. 

Hand coordination and fine motor skills need to be developed so your child is able to learn proper grip and form when learning to write. Your child can get a head start on these skills by using very simple exercises and materials. 

Things as simple as letting your child tear construction paper can be one extremely helpful method; playing with playdough will both strengthen their hands and spark their creativity. Playing and building with blocks helps develop both coordination and focus. If your child likes coloring, and what child doesn’t, you can encourage them to use small crayons; even broken crayons are encouraged since smaller tools have been found to fit little hands perfectly, helping to even better develop their preliminary writing skills. 

It’s never too early to give your child all the tools they need to learn to read and write and with these super-simple techniques you can make sure to get them on the right track, right away. 

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