Often parents think that their child needs to be able to write their name and know the ABC before starting school. But there are far more important skills that kids can learn through play that will set them up for success in all areas of their learning.

The following is an outline of the skills your child needs to give them the best start possible:

Core strength – our body develops from the inside out. When your child has a strong core it will help them be able to sit still on the mat, at the table, hold their position when standing still or lining up and will support the quality and speed of their handwriting. Being able to do a “Superman” and “bug” for 20 Seconds indicates age appropriate core. See Video Here

Gross motor skills –
 jumping with feet together slowly 5 x in a row, hop on each leg 12 x in a row, balance on one foot for 12 seconds, do star jumps and scissor jumps and skip fluently. Use the chalk in your pack to make a game of hopscotch to support your child’s development of these skills.

Shoulder strength – before we develop skill with our fingers we need to be able to stabilise our arm and have the strength in our shoulder to hold our fingers in a set position e.g. for cutting and writing. Games like wheelbarrow walks and army crawls, climbing on play equipment, swimming and laying on your tummy to watch tv, play iPad, or read is great for developing upper body strength.

Hand strength – The strength in a child’s hands will determine their endurance, pencil control and the quality of their cutting and writing. You can support hand strength with activities like cooking, playdoh, gardening, digging in sand, watering the garden with a trigger hose or spray bottle.

Hand eye coordination – A typical 4-5 year old can throw and catch a tennis ball consistently. This is an important skills as it develops the child’s ability to track objects with their eyes and coordinate the movements of their eyes and hands together. Playing throwing and catching games is wonderful preparation for school.

If your child is having difficulty with any of these skills check out the following resources:

Ready for school video’s – these video’s show how to test your child’s current motor skills and include fun ways to improve them over the summer. Click here for more info about the videos

Helping with handwriting – Is a downloadable book that explains the skills children need for success with writing, with a particular focus on the pre-writing skills which are developing now. It also has worksheets and activities that will be perfect over the summer. Use the code freebook in the checkout to get your free copy. Handwriting Workbook

FOLLOW US ON Instagram