Prep: 5 Minutes / Activity Time: 5-7 Minutes

At this age, drawing is an important stage in your child’s writing and a way for her to express her creativity. The final product may be a collection of scribbles, but realize that each mark on the page is of value. Talk to her as she draws and engage her in conversation to get a glimpse of how she is organizing her ideas. Write down what she says. It will help her start to understand the important aspect of written language and see you demonstrating the conventions of print.

  • writing tools
  • unlined paper

Step 1: Offer your child a variety of thick and thin writing tools and paper of various sizes and shapes. Let her choose what she would like to use.    

Step 2: Sit with her and observe her actions. Talk about what is being created. You might point to a specific area on the page and ask her questions about it. For example:

“Can you tell me about what you did here?” Dana's response: “Car, vroom.”

Repeat and perhaps add to her comment.  For example:

“Car, vroom! Your blue car goes vroom when you drive it. I can write your words. Watch me.”

Step 3:  Let your child watch as you write. Talk about what you are doing. As you write her words, bring her attention to the use of uppercase and lowercase letters and spacing between words.

“C-a-r car. That’s the word car. Now I’m going to leave a space and write the word Vroom. V-r-o-o-m.”

Touch each word as you re-read them and encourage her to read with you.

Step 4: If your child is interested, talk about another area of her picture. When she is done, display for all to see! As others admire it, encourage your child to show and tell, perhaps even read to them.

Talk about what to draw. Have a visual to help generate ideas, like a book, picture or even a toy.

Encourage your child to add details to what she has already drawn. For example: add wheels, doors, windows, lights to the car; or add details to the scene like a road, traffic light, stop sign, and trees.