As a parent who loves to read, is there anything more exciting than watching your child connect with words and letters? That “aha moment” when they pick up a crayon or pencil and try to replicate the letters they see on a page is everything! Writing is everywhere, and practicing tracing letters and other exercises as early as possible is a wonderful support for their budding writing skills.
Parents of these future authors would do well to remember – learning to write is messy! Preschool writing skills involve imperfection, possible meltdowns, and lots and lots of practice. Early writing skills are one of the best predictors of children’s later reading success. There are a few basic preschool writing skills that your child should be mastering by the ages of three or four.
Basic Preschool Writing Skills
- Express ideas through drawing pictures
- Use crayons, markers, and pencils
- Copying shapes and tracing letters
- Attempt letters of own name
Now that you know these basic preschool writing skills to look for, you can encourage your child’s development by reinforcing those skills. You can share time each day, practicing writing and helping your child understand how writing and drawing help us communicate. Adjusting to a new daycare or preschool curriculum will be much easier with basic preschool writing skills.
Encourage Preschool Writing Skills at Home
The time has come to get comfortable with letting your child loose with a marker or crayons. Create a space with appropriate materials and writing tools where your child can gain confidence with tracing letters and drawing to express ideas. Let them practice spelling their first name and encourage them with every attempt. It may take a while – this is very empowering for a preschooler.
Tracing letters is a beneficial exercise to develop preschool writing skills. Tracing letters improves hand/eye coordination, dexterity, and spatial awareness. Tracing curved and straight lines, circles, and other shapes helps with coordination and refining muscles to make it easier when transitioning to writing.
Not sure how to get started tracing letters? There are plenty of practice sheets online – pick one and let your kiddo start building their preschool writing skills!
Practice Preschool Writing Skills at Home
Give your child plenty of opportunities to practice their newfound skills at home. Label their belongings with their first name so they get used to seeing the letters that spell their name. Let them label a few items themselves. Practice connecting words to pictures by letting your child create a pretend menu using pictures from newspapers or magazines.
If you are worried that your child isn’t developing preschool writing skills, take a deep breath! Not all children learn and develop skills at the same pace.
If you notice that your child appears to really dislike writing or tracing letters, avoids opportunities to practice the skill, or frequently draws letters in reverse, discuss your concerns with your child’s preschool teacher or pediatrician. There may not be a reason to panic – just cover your bases to be sure your child has every advantage in developing preschool writing skills and language development.
If you have questions about appropriate preschool writing skills or need ideas on how to help your child develop a love for writing, call The Breakie Bunch Learning Center. We love sharing resources to help children develop and gain confidence. Your child’s success is our top priority!