By Little Harvard


Wondering how threading beads can help your child’s development?

There are at least four stages in learning how to write. The first stage is movement – your child learning to control their body and their hands – reaching, feeling and holding things.

Threading large wooden beads onto a shoelace, a piece of string, or a pipe cleaner is a fun activity and it might also improve:

  1. Grasping and hand movement skills – that will help develop hand and finger muscles used to hold and control pencils and crayons.
  2. Hand & eye coordination – accuracy will improve as they try to push the shoelace through the hole.
  3. Visual and pre-maths skills – get them to try to form a regular pattern with the beads. For instance, blue, red, green, then blue, red, green again.
  4. Counting skills – count the number of blue beads or red beads.beads

If you don’t have large wooden beads, why not use large pasta tubes, like macaroni?

Make sure always to supervise this activity as beads and shoelaces can go places they shouldn’t.


Next Steps

The second stage of learning how to write is making marks – seeing that if you put this crayon here and move it, it makes a mark.

Drawing is a third stage. The fourth then is learning how to make letters and later words.

For your child, the more they are aware about how useful writing is, the better. Seeing you writing is great and you pointing out other people writing will help them see how useful it is too.

It’s always good to keep crayons and paper close at hand, so that you can give them to your child anytime to play with.

Write words under your child’s drawing – like their name or what they have drawn – that will help them understand the meaning of words.

Later you could clip 10 or 12 of these drawings together to make a book. This will show your child how books can be made.

Let your child see you writing – notes, lists, letters and emails. If you don’t write much yourself, show your child other people writing when you are out and about.

Encourage your child to use ‘pretend’ writing in play – writing their own name, notices or price lists. You could even give them a little notebook when you go to the shops or when they’re playing ‘shop’ with their friends.


Source: Help My Kid Learn.ie