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Teaching Your Toddler To Write His Name

When you think your child is ready, it might be a good time to start turning those scribbles he makes on paper (and on the wall!) into something a little more legible. Here is a step by step approach – the pace of which will vary from child to child…

Firstly, teach your child basic writing concepts. These will help him or her be ready for letter formation and lined paper.

So for example, explain the terms of right and left, up and down and also top, middle and bottom. Help your child distinguish between round and straight lines. Print the letters in your child’s first and last names.

Help him practice them one at a time in a fun way. Concentrate on his or her first name first – his surname can come later. For instance, encourage your child to print the letters with his index finger in the air or perhaps in sand when in a sand box or at the beach. Teach him as well that when he writes his name, the first letter is always a capital and the remaining letters are lowercase.

Guide letter formation. So for instance, if you’re writing his name in a tray or rice, foam or flour, hold your child’s hand first to demonstrate proper name writing mechanics. Emphasize that letters are formed from top to bottom. Sound out each letter in your child’s name while he is writing it.

Next in the learning process is showing your child how to hold a pencil. Use a thick writing instrument/tool such as an oversized pencil or crayon. These afford little hands better control. Proper form is important. It is difficult to unlearn poor pencil posture.

Once the above has been mastered, introduce lined paper and ask your child to print his name on the line. A good way to encourage this is to have him or her write his name on the art he creates. For example on coloring sheets – if you have a girl, then a sites like Fairy Coloring Pages you’ll find the best Fairy coloring.

Writing his name on art and coloring sheets – preferably along a line – will provide practice in controlling the pencil and prepare him or her for the lined paper he’ll eventually encounter at school.

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