Put down those boring worksheets! The best way to teach your preschooler to write is to use simple preschool writing activities that make learning fun. To be ready for kindergarten, your child needs to know how to cut and paste, copy simple shapes, trace vertical and horizontal lines, trace his or her name, and hold crayons, pencils and scissors correctly.
The first step to teaching the above is strengthening the small muscles in the hands and wrists that are used in handwriting. This process is often referred to as building fine motor skills. You can encourage fine motor development by having your child use art supplies like crayons, paints, markers, glue and scissors. Lacing activities, stringing beads and cheerios, playing with playdoh, scooping sand or rice, and activities like pouring and stirring are also great fine motor activities.
When you feel your child is physically ready to write, have your child use a stick or finger to draw in sand, rice, pudding, shaving cream, paint or oatmeal. Make simple lines and shapes and ask your child to copy them. Next, let your child practice writing on a dry erase board, chalk board or Magnadoodle. Preschoolers also tend to have fun with special crayons and markers designed for use on windows and in the tub. Take care not to rush this process. Let your child move through these stages at his or her own pace.
When your child is ready, move on to pencil and paper. Build confidence by letting your preschooler trace simple lines and shapes, then proceed to letters. You can eventually teach your child to write his name by letting him trace or copy it daily. If your child needs help remembering how to spell her name, practice with fridge magnets, letter tiles or alphabet blocks.
Keep preschool writing activities relaxed and fun. Don’t expect or require perfection. Learning to write is a fun process that will give your preschooler a boost in confidence and solid foundation for future studies.