The picture is a little blurry, but let me see if I can “set the scene” for you. In the bath the other night my 3.5 year old was playing with a squirt bottle. “LOOK Mama!” He shouted excitedly “I made an O! What letter should I make next?”For the next twenty minutes he attempted letter after letter, squirting water into the bubbles to make the shape.
It may not be particularly noteworthy to most, but since this is a kid who never goes near the art center (unless, as he told me with a sigh, “Teacher said we ALL had to try it today”) and loves books but brushes off the idea of writing. I was excited to see HIM excited about letters and writing.
It was also a good reminder that it-will-happen. At this age what they need from us is a chance to get excited about reading and writing.
It is totally ok to read book after book about their favorite subject (that would be cars and trucks in our house). There is nothing wrong with graphic novels and picture-heavy books, in fact they are an awesome way to get kids decoding what is going on in the story.
Writing can be making shapes in playdough (it strengthens their hands for pencil-use later), brushing water onto the fence with a paintbrush or smearing around shaving cream.
There is no reason to try and force them to read what you think they “should” or write if they aren’t ready. They are absorbing so much from what is around them like stop signs as you drive and a recipe as they “help” make dinner. Most importantly, they are learning that reading and writing are fun, and a way to be together and spend time with you. That is the most important lesson.