What is pre-writing...

What leads to a child having the fine motor skills to hold a pencil?  Lots of  play.

Let them play with real, hands-on materials. 

Let them swing from the monkey bars.

Let them squish the gak. 

Let them build with blocks.

Let them struggle with a wooden puzzle.

Let them build those muscles.

This is not a technology rant.  Maybe some cognitive skills can be picked up along the way as a child swipes away at an app.  But just as a decade ago when educators and pediatricians were advocating for limiting television time, the same principal applies for any technology.  Although Sesame Street was known for exposing some kids to educational concepts, a parent would never have considered hours of Big Bird appropriate.  Nor would they have limited pre-literacy skill development to only the television.  I do, however, realize a majority of parents will hand over that i-phone or i-pad to the 3 year old.  Yes, I let my children watch Sesame Street.  But, just a little and as a treat, not as a constant "go-to activity".  Just like nutrition, education requires balance. Consider technology the dessert and hands-on manipulatives (play dough, scissors, hammers, monkey bars, wooden puzzles, blocks, etc), the proteins and vegetables.

What parents might see as great educational tools, educators are seeing as the demise of fine motor muscles.  More and more children only have the fine motor skills to swipe.  

So what's the answer?  Let them play.

Let them play with real, hands-on materials.

Let them swing from the monkey bars.

Let them squish the gak.

 Let them build with blocks.

Let them build those muscles.