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In Nursery, most of the time writing isn’t ‘typically’ what you would think. It is all about starting to make marks to communicate meaning. Some children may be beginning to make marks to represent their name, which is amazing, but it is not an expectation - do not worry if your child isn't at this stage yet!


Pre-school children are only just establishing their dominant hand and pencil grip before strengthening their fine motor muscles to enable them to begin to write. Below are some ideas to support this from home:

Finger rhymes – we always start our phonics sessions naming our fingers and singing a finger rhyme:


Squiggle whilst you Wiggle – this is done daily in nursery and the children love it! It focuses on gross motor movements with material in each hand (you could use material or a pair of socks) and then focuses down, repeating this movement with paper and pens all to your favourite song! So far we have done Up and Down, and should have been beginning Circles very soon (if you click the images below there are some examples, search it on YouTube there are lots of videos!)

Up and down, and side to side

Circles – round and round, smaller and then bigger 

Playdough – manipulating the dough in different ways will help to strengthen those finger and wrist muscles. Dough disco can help with this!

Here is a link to Dough Disco!


Fine motor painting - You could use your fingers or cotton buds.


 Pegging out the washing - Gripping and squeezing the pegs and then using hand eye coordination to put it onto the line.


Threading - Using pasta onto string to make jewellery. You could also use cheerios onto spaghetti strands or anything else in your house that can thread through a hole! 


- Using cutlery independently at meal times


- Building, balancing and joining construction


Using different media to make marks – paints, chalks, water and paintbrushes outdoors, mud and water, making marks in sprinkled flour or shaving foam – your choice!


Making marks to represent meaning – this could be your name, words around the house, drawing pictures and giving different parts a meaning – anything!

Just remember: it doesn't have to look like the thing your child said it is, the important thing is they know what they have drawn!