Pre-Writing Skills for Preschoolers – Drawing With Shapes

Many children find handwriting difficult.  This may be because their small motor muscles are not fully developed—or they may not want to stay still long enough to learn to write—or they may just not see the point of doing it when there are more exciting things to do. 

Whatever the reason, there are some things we can do to increase interest in writing in general, and to develop pre-writing skills that will make handwriting easier when it must be learned.

If you look closely at capital letters, they are mostly made up of straight lines and a few circles or half-circles as you can see here:

Lower case letters have many more curved lines that the uppercase letters as you see here: 

Children will find straight lines easier to execute.  Many handwriting books present capital letters first.  As children gain more control over their writing the will begin to draw crooked circles and then more rounded ones.  If given the opportunity to draw on paper, young children can learn to draw the shapes they will use when they learn to write while they are having fun making pictures. 

Drawing objects are more fun than just learning to copy letters, so why not show your children how to draw basic shapes that can be turned into recognizable objects.  They will have fun, they will develop small motor control, and they will learn a useful skill at the same time!   

Use these kinds of drawings to give your child practice in strokes that they will also use to write many of the capital letters. Next week, I’ll post another drawing activity that will encourage children to practice drawing circles.