Beginning writing includes fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination for controlling writing tools, understanding that we can show our thoughts through drawing and writing, and writing letters that represent sounds in words.

How can I help?

  • Create fun and interesting ways to develop fine motor skills.
    • For example, provide clothespins that your child can squeeze to open or large plastic tweezers that your child can use to pick up cotton balls.
  • Create interesting and fun places to write.
    • For example, create a “Secret Agent Briefcase” for your child, filled with crayons, notebooks or sketchpads. Bring this “Secret Agent Briefcase” with you when you travel in the car or while you are waiting for a doctor’s appointment. Your child can record his or her observations in pictures and words and create his or her own stories, mysteries or special “cases” using his or her imagination, all while practicing his or her writing and storytelling skills.
  • Create a journal together.
    • Make a journal from unlined paper and provide a variety of writing tools. Encourage your child to “journal” about a particular subject or theme through drawing and writing. Ask questions that your child can reflect upon and answer. For example, look at pictures in magazines, on the computer, phone or tablet and talk about places you would like to visit. Use the journal to write or draw about why you would like to visit each place.
  • Relate drawing and writing to real-world experiences.
    • Give your child small sticky notes and a pencil. Show how you write different notes or lists throughout the day. Encourage your child to write a note to you, a grocery list or a list of things he or she would like to do that day.
  • Write about the stories you read.
    • You can create a “sequel” or an “after the story” story. For example, after you have finished reading a story, ask your child, “What do you think might happen next?” “ Did the characters really live happily ever after?” Create your own “sequel” by planning out a beginning, middle or end. Create illustrations and words for your book together. Invite family and friends to listen to your child read the “sequel” that he or she created.