Getting Ready for Starting School 1 - Hop, Skip, Jump, Write!

If someone asked what you thought a child about to start school should be able to do, I wonder what you would say? No doubt there would be a whole range of responses but I’m guessing a few people might suggest that being able to write their own name - or at least a few letters - would be desirable. Now some children may well be doing this by the time they finish nursery but it’s certainly nothing to worry about if your child isn’t. What is important is that he or she is ready to learn how to write and developing their gross motor skills will really help with this. These are the “big” movements of the body such as walking, running, balancing, climbing, throwing and catching. Having good postural support, shoulder stability and arm/wrist/hand strength ensures a solid foundation for development of the fine motor skills - those precise movements we do with our hands which are necessary for learning to write (more about that next time!).

Encouraging your child to:

  • jump on a trampoline

  • clamber over rocks

  • balance along a (low!) wall

  • throw a bean bag

  • kick a ball

  • catch a balloon

  • do gymnastics

  • swing on monkey bars

  • practise yoga (there are some great videos online)

  • go swimming

will help get them ready for learning to write when they start school and - who knows? - it might even get them off to bed nice and early too!

PS For those children who are showing a real interest in writing it’s worth showing them the correct way to form letters and this short video gives some helpful advice.

Elaine Kent