In Nursery, the first focus has to be gross motor skills. Children must develop strength in their core, shoulders, arms, wrists ands fingers by carrying heavy wooden hollow blocks, buckets of sand/ water, swinging from monkey bars, climbing, moving crates, using tyre swings and wheelbarrows etc.
Children who have not had this opportunity are not ready to begin attempting any form of letter formation.
However, because there is a huge difference in size and age in months and physical strength, some children may be able to attempt having a go at writing their name. If you feel your child is ready, you can follow the video clip below to see recommended practice. Teach your child that they need to start at the top of the page and write left to right (in English).
Use a highlighter or yellow felt-tip. Talk through how you are forming the letters as you form them. Let your child see you writing it.
If your child is not holding a pencil or pen correctly at this point, DO NOT WORRY! All children develop differently and some children do not have the strength in their fingers, wrists etc yet. It will happen when your child is ready. Be led by your child’s readiness. Children need to enjoy mark-making before they will attempt letter formation. Use water and big paintbrushes, get them to mop the floor, clean over tables, chalk on paving etc. Writing skills do not need to feature pencils and pens.