5 Tips for Working with Pre-Writers

Kristen Chiusano
After years of being a public school early education teacher, Kristen decided to take her love of creating beautiful and inspiring learning materials from the classroom to your home or business.

Before children write letters, words or stories they make marks. These marks are are our first steps in becoming confident writers. So while it might seem like working on writing is a Kindergarten or First Grade task, this work can actually start in the toddler years. Here are 5 tips for working with pre-writers.

1. Sing and Write

When working on basic line work,  put it to music. In our house we use “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” when drawing circles. We simply draw circles as we sing, changing the speed of our drawing to meet our song. The same can be done with lines and zig zags.

2. Drawing

From now on, think of writing and drawing as one in the same. Every line you need to write the alphabet you make when drawing a person. So before your child can memorize all the motor scripts for writing each letter let them work on their handwriting through drawing.

3. Discover Zig Zags

In my classroom, we spend a whole month of exploring lines. This means zig zags, curves, loops, swirls... We study lines because they are an extremely approachable way to practice writing letters, without the pressure of writing actual letters. Get into lines by visiting our Zig Zag and Line work Pinterest board 

View our Zig Zag Pinterest Board for Inspiration!

4. Storytelling without a Mark

Another angle to consider is practicing writing without making a mark. Storytelling is a completely verbal exercise. Tell stories with your child with a beginning, middle and end. Tell fiction and nonfiction stories. Make a story happy, silly, sad or purposefully boring. Play with the art of storytelling.

For more ideas check out our Fine Motor Pinterest board.

5. Fine Motor without a Mark

Like storytelling, fine motor practice can be done without picking up a pencil. Think of activities that use small hand muscles. This might include any pinching, cutting, twisting, squeezing, threading or hammering activity. All of these motions help children build up the muscle and motor control they need to write. For more ideas check out our Fine Motor Pinterest board 

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