Pediatric Physical, Speech, and Occupational Therapists Inspiring Play

Pre-Writing Fun with Preschool-Aged Kids

Pre-Writing Fun with Preschool-Aged Kids

Before your child can begin drawing shapes and writing letters, they must develop a good foundation of visual motor and fine motor skills, as well as proximal strength for stable posture.

They also need to develop building blocks of pre-writing through lines and strokes. Below are a few important pre-writing strokes, as well as age ranges when children typically develop certain skills (pre-writing norms based on The Peabody Developmental Motor Scales-2). Please keep in mind that these are a range and all children develop differently!

Where to Start?

Because preschool-aged children learn through playful experiences, our biggest tip is to keep exposure to letters and writing light and fun!

Unsure where to start? We’ve compiled some of our favorite ideas to playfully learn pre-writing skills, as well as strategies for you when working on these building blocks.

1. Tactile Play and Exploration

We love getting creative with pre-writing and adding a tactile component. Practicing in shaving cream, sprinkles, play dough, rice, sand, etc., works on fine motor skills, visual motor skills, and tactile processing. 

Pre-writing tactile play
Pre-Writing Tactile Sprinkles

2. Practice Crossing Midline

Activities that incorporate midline crossing, such as making big arcs or circles, are a great foundation for later big kid writing tasks.

Drawing or painting rainbows is a great way to promote making big arcs and crossing midline. See below, as Coco practices brushing colored shaving cream on a vertical surface.

3. Go Vertical!

For some extra muscle work, bring that play dough vertical! Vertical surfaces not only focus on shoulder activation and wrist extension, they also allow for increased visual attention. All great skills for future writers! 

Vertical Pre-writing skills

Get creative at home! You can use an easel, the wall/window, or a cardboard box. Check out our pal Dakota tracing pre-made lines and putting stickers on them.

Check back throughout the month as we continue to bring you fun ways to practice pre-writing skills!

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