The Importance of Pre-writing Activities

July 31, 2017

The best way to make your pre-schooler ready for writing is by working on her writing readiness or pre-writing skills.

A major component of pre-writing skills is copying and drawing basic strokes and shapes [such as vertical and horizontal lines, right and left diagonal lines, circle, square, rectangle, triangle, diamond, and cross (‘+’ and ‘X’)].

However, before she can even pick up a pencil, your child needs to build certain abilities or fundamental skills first. Left underdeveloped, they’ll cause any writing attempt by her to tire the fingers, which can lead to frustration, low self-esteem, and poor academic performance.

Pre-writing activities help your child master these basic skills. “Through repetition and practice of specific movements, the brain and muscles learn to work together as a team,” says Erin Brown Conroy, author of ‘Writing SkillBuilders’. The younger your child engages in pre-writing activities, the more refined her ability to effectively hold and move a pencil will be.

Developmental skillsDescriptionDescription Pre-writing activities (Examples)
Hand dominanceEstablishing a preferred handUsing a toy hammer, coloring
Hand and finger strengthDeveloping hand muscle and dexterityPlaying with modeling dough, scrunching paper, drawing on vertical surfaces
Pincer graspPracticing a grip involving the thumb and index fingerPlaying with droppers, sorting marbles, picking small items with tweezers
Upper body strength and postural controlStrengthening the support provided by the neck and trunk to prevent fatigue and allow controlled hand movementTug of war, sand-digging, climbing on a jungle gym
Crossing the midlineComfortably reaching across to the other side of the bodyDancing, yoga session
Bilateral coordinationUsing both sides of the bodyHand clapping, tearing paper, drawing ‘Lazy 8s’
Hand-eye coordinationGetting eyes and hands to work together to accomplish a taskCatching bubbles or a ball, threading beads, building with blocks
Object manipulationSkillfully manipulating toolsLine tracing, cutting with toy scissors
Visual perceptionInterpreting visual imagesSequencing patterns of shapes and colors, doing jigsaws

What’s more, although pre-writing activities focus on building motor skills to support early writing, they also encourage the advancement of cognitive and learning skills – thus, successfully enhancing your child’s memory, attention span, and creativity.


“Reading and writing abilities don’t just happen.

They are acquired, nurtured, and refined through the acts of those who provide appropriate instructional contexts and support.” – Strickland, D.S

Three Little Fingers offers numerous fun-filled and expert
pre-writing activities
in a safe environment that provide your child with the right building blocks for a legible
handwriting.

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