Did you know that children are expected to know BASIC writing skills before starting kindergarten? This is because writing promotes children’s literacy development, which helps them to learn to read, write, and communicate effectively. The earlier children develop these skills, the stronger their literacy foundation. Is your child ready?
Did you miss part 1 of this series? No worries! You can read it here.
Writing with children is something to get excited about! Children LOVE to write and draw. They get to use tools like crayons, markers, paint daubers, and paint. You know, things that can get MESSY! What’s not to love?
So, what writing skills does your child need to know and how do we turn their random scribbles into meaningful writing? That’s easy!
Pre-K Writing Skills with Pictures and Ideas
Pictures are a way for children to represent and express their IDEAS and to convey meaning before they can WRITE sentences.
- How to Assess: Does your child draw pictures, symbols or shapes to express their ideas or write a story? Do they use letters or words when drawing/writing? Do they use the proper pencil grip? Does your child understand that writing and drawing helps us to communicate?
- How to Develop:
- Set up a writing center for your child to use freely. Stock it with pencils, crayons, markers, paint daubers, lined paper, colored paper, alphabet stickers, and stencils.
- Label things with words, pictures, and symbols in the child’s environment – such as toys, books, and craft supplies.
- After reading a story together, have your child create a journal entry! Your child could write and draw about what happened in the story or what might happen next.
- Teach your child that writing is everywhere! After a trip to a restaurant, make a play restaurant at home! Use pictures and symbols to create the menus. Download our play menus for free here.
Pre-K Writing Skills by Forming Letters with Accuracy
- Assess: Can your child write many or all uppercase and lowercase letters independently? Can they copy and write them with an example? Can they write their first name? Their last name? Do they leave a space between their first and last name? Does your child write from left to right?
- Build fine motor skills to help strengthen your child’s muscles and coordination. Have them pick up pom poms with tweezers and separate them by color into a muffin tin. Or string beads to make a necklace.
- Help your child learn the proper pencil grip. Do writing activities together where you can remind them how to hold the pencil. Some children require quite a bit of reminding to get it down.
- Teach your child upper- and lowercase letters by using fun hands-on activities and sensory bins. Create a salt tray and have them use the eraser side of a pencil to write letters. Spray shaving cream on the table and write in it with your finger. You could also use our fun hands-on activities!
- Have your child write their name every day. You could have them write on a whiteboard for fun or even create a chart that they write their name on every day and at the end of the week they get a sticker.
Here are some great activities to download to build writing skills
- Alphabet Animal Tracing Cards
- A-Z Handwriting Practice
- Handwriting Activity Sheets
- Dot and Color Letters and Sounds
- Learning Letters Activities Binder
- Snap Cube Letters
Learning how to PROGRESS from creating drawings and scribbles into writing real words takes a lot of PRACTICE for children. With our help, you can make the process fun and exciting! Children will enter kindergarten with a love for learning and a foundation for writing and literacy development.
This article only covers a portion of assessment questions. We will provide for FREE our full assessment containing the list of skills children need for kindergarten at the end of this series.
Is your child using the proper language skills to be understood by adults and peers? In our next article we’re going to talk about speaking and listening standards and what your child needs to know before kindergarten.