The skills needed to learn how to read and write are connected in children's brains. In order to ready your child for reading, try some of these easy and fun writing activities:
FOR BABIES: Of course your baby is not ready to read or write just yet, but learning to recognize shapes is the first step towards acquiring those skills. So point out different shapes you see and describe them to your child. Find things that are round, such as balls, and let your child explore them. Boxes are all around you; let your child play with a cardboard box and talk about squares and rectangles. Playing with simple shape and color puzzles will also help develop these skills.
FOR TODDLERS: Keep playing with shapes but also have fun introducing alphabet letters. Toddlers love hearing their names, Expand the sound of your toddler's name by writing it on all sorts of surfaces, on paper, with blocks or magnetic letters, on chalkboards or even with water. Identify each of the letters in their name.
Print is everywhere. Help your child notice alphabet letters by pointing out the names on food containers, words on road signs and names of stores. Point out letters to your toddler as you go through your day.
Let your toddler try writing! Scribbles are a great way of strengthening their fine motor skills. Fat crayons are great at helping them grip crayons without their breaking.
FOR PRESCHOOLERS: Play "I Spy" to find letters in the room. Silently choose something that your child can see. Say, "I spy with my little eye something that starts with the letter (name a letter) What is it?"
Play games like "We are going to a place to eat whose name begins with the letter "B." Where do you think we are going?"
Sing the alphabet song while pointing to the letters of the alphabet.
Writing can be done anywhere: in the sand or dirt, on a chalkboard, in a pan filled with rice or flour, with a piece of yarn, with blocks, and even in the tub. Make writing letters a game you play every day.