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Day 27 - Learning To Write

Day 27 - Learning To Write

When do children learn to write?

At three? At four?

We saw yesterday that children become symbol users very early on. They feed their toys imaginary food; they pretend to be someone else. They learn to use one thing to represent another.

Writing is simply another step along this journey. Letters and words are yet more symbols.

So the basis of writing is play.

It begins with mark-making. Marks are first made for fun, an exploration of surfaces and materials. A finger through sand or condensation on a window. But soon those marks are ascribed meaning. This line is my car. This dot is Daddy. Not figurative art, to begin with, but over time children's representations become more accurate.

Before letters are attempted, children need a good degree of fine motor control. This is why threading and collage feature so heavily in preschools.

Only then can writing begin. It's a long road, and shouldn't be rushed. I've taught summer-born three-year-olds who could write full sentences, but I've also seen plenty start school at five barely able to attempt their name. They all get there in the end. The important thing is to keep it fun.

Children can be ready for school simply by learning through play. That's what this series - and 100 Toys - is all about.

 

Here's the rest of the series:

Introduction

Day 1 - Theories of Development

Day 2 - Stages of Play

Day 3 - Play is Multisensory

Day 4 - Gender-Neutral Toys

Day 5 - The Zone of Proximal Development

Day 6 - Heuristic Play

Day 7 - Spot the Difference

Day 8 - Sorting

Day 9 - Schemas

Day 10 - Ask good questions

Day 11 - Conservation

Day 12 - Seriation

Day 13 - Observation

Day 14 - Set a good example

Day 15 - Fewer toys = more focus

Day 16 - The Hundred Languages of Children

Day 17 - Plan-do-review

Day 18 - Practical life

Day 19 - Free-flow play

Day 20 - Executive functions

Day 21 - Spaced repetition

Day 22 - Independent play

Day 23 - Project-based Learning

Day 24 - The Environment As The Third Teacher

Day 25 - Start With The Child

Day 26 - Symbolic Play

Day 27 - Learning To Write

Day 28 - Blocks: the indispensable toy

Day 29 - Outdoor Learning

Day 30 - Play

 

September 03, 2018 By Alexis Ralphs

Toy Box Essentials

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