As nursery practitioners, a key part of our role is to enable children to communicate. Initially this will be through gesture and speech and then, by the time they leave to go to school, they will have began to write. However, there is much more to learning to write than just picking up a pencil!
Children learn to write by first strengthening chest and shoulder muscles by having tummy time and doing large arm movements.
Secondly, children need the opportunity to strengthen their arm muscles by doing activities that allow them to rotate at the elbow and practice pushing and pulling movements. Doing activities where children are on their tummy such as drawing on the floor will further strengthen the arm and chest muscles.
Next children will need to do activities to improve the muscles in the wrist. Activities on the easel will promote this due to the angle but also practicing writing whilst sat at a table will help.
Finger muscles and control are the last things to develop and good pencil control will only come if children have good postural stability (shoulders, trunk, arms and wrists). Ideas to strengthen muscles in the hand include: gluing and sticking; containers and lids; threading; wringing clothes out (twisting) and then pegging them up and pinching and using tweezers.