Prep: 20-30 Minutes / Activity Time: 15-20 Minutes

Give your child lots of opportunities to connect her spoken words with written ones. Providing many opportunities for your child to write with a variety of writing paper and instruments is the key to promoting the foundation for the love of writing. Just as you read daily with your children, set aside time and dedicated space for your child’s drawing and writing. This will show your child how much you value her emerging drawing and writing skills.

  • different kinds of pens
  • crayons
  • pencils
  • markers
  • assorted stationery
  • wrapping paper
  • bags
  • envelopes
  • glitter
  • glue
  • stencils
  • stamps
  • magazines
  • stickers

Step 1: Create a stimulating writing area for your child in your home. The sky’s the limit in this area and is only restricted by your imagination.  

Step 2: Provide a variety of writing supplies that your child can independently gather and use, while you supervise and support as needed.    

Step 3: Ask your child to go to her writing area and draw a picture for someone (e.g., a sibling, grandparent, friend). Give suggestions as necessary (“I bet that Granddad would love to have a picture of you swimming in the pool!”).  

Step 4: After your child has finished the picture, encourage her to write her name on it. After all, we don’t want to forget who drew the masterpiece!   

Add extra support.  Give suggestions to help your child add details to her drawing. You might say, “Your swimming pool is round. Can you draw a big round circle for the pool? Now, draw a picture of you swimming in the pool.”

Another way to support a child who is a reluctant artist or writer is to draw the picture together. You draw a part of it and ask your child to add to it.


Add words to the picture.  Ask your child to dictate a short note that you write down on the picture.  

You may want to mail the picture to a special person.  For example, if the picture is for Granddad, mail the note and the picture to him.  Ask Granddad to mail a simple written reply to acknowledge the gift.

Thank you for the wonderful note and picture of you swimming. It looks like you were having fun! I hope you send me another picture soon.

Love, Granddad

It will be fun for your child to get something in the mail from a special person!  Be sure to read the note to your child.  

Discover more about encouraging strong writing skills in your preschooler, or explore recommended children's books to read with your four-year-old