Reinforcing pre-writing skills can be (and might already be) part of you child’s every day.
- Have pencils, washable markers, chalk, crayons, and paper where your child can reach it. If you can, have a child sized table for writing and art projects.
- Talk about the shapes of letters. Practice drawing shapes
- Encourage your child to draw to share ideas and tell stories.
- Point out the written words all around you and your child.
- Let your child trace letters with their fingers.
- Label your child’s belongings with their name.
- Practice shaping letters with playdough (great for fine motor skills).
- Write books together. Make cards with a special message to send to loved ones.
- Create a pretend menu with drawings of food, words, and prices.
- Teach your child to print their first name. Start with their first letter and take your time getting to all of the other letters because it takes a while.
Cause for concern? After observing your child’s progress, you may want to seek help (preschool teacher, pediatrician, school district) if you notice your child consistently:
- Dislikes/avoids writing and copying
- Has trouble remembering the shapes of letters and numbers
- Repeatedly reverses or incorrectly draws letters, numbers, and symbols
Adapted from: Understanding Beginning Writing Skills in Preschoolers by Kristin Stanberry