Writing with boys
There has been lots of research showing there is a clear difference between boys interest in writing and that of girls.
Lots of boys tend to be more physically active and avoid table top activities, therefore we need to think creatively about how to encourage boys to write.
We need to remind ourselves about the significance of developing the bigger muscles in our bodies and then move on to the smaller muscles in fingers. Strengthening a baby's core, moving on to the crawling stage, then walking and jumping etc all eventually help a child to hold a pencil.
Mark making is a significant stage for any child and mark making for both boys and girls should be encouraged as a big and fun activity and moving away from the idea of putting pencil to paper at a table. Below are some tips on how to motivate boys or reluctant writers.
When you are giving boys, in particular a reason to write think about different things they can write on so it feels more exciting. Such as a white board or chalk board because it is not permanent, post it notes because they can move them around, big and small pencils and pens to make it different. Variety is key to keep things fun and to keep the child motivated.
- Follow their lead and interests: All children want to engage and try new things when they are motivated and having fun with something they are interested in
- Make it playful and join in: get into character and be part of the play. You can then model writing in play, they will see you doing it and hopefully they will copy you and have a go themselves
- Give them a reason to write: Boys are more likely to make marks and write when it is for a reason e.g. making a sign for their den or invitations to a teddy bears picnic
- Give them lots of different tools to use to make marks: sticks in mud, cotton buds and paint, feathers in flour, chalk on wood
- Make it big and go outdoors: Many boys give a preference to learning outside where they can be active and have space. Before writing, children also need to develop physical muscles in their shoulder, elbows and wrists so the bigger the marks they can make in the early stages the better!
For more fun filled activities for boys click the link on the sidebar.
We all write for a purpose; a shopping list so, a note or letter to pass on a message, to record the winner of a game for a scoreboard and so on. Giving a child a purpose to write encourages them to feel like they are doing it for a reason. So find your child's interest and think of a reason that they may need to write or record something. And remember it doesn't have to be on paper it can be using chalk on the floor, using water and paintbrushes on a fence, a whiteboard or something small like a post it note.