7 Great Pre-Writing Activities for Preschoolers

If you’ve been wondering how to work on pre-writing skills with your preschooler, here are some great pre-writing activities to try. I’ll be going over several ideas to give you some inspiration on what to do. Feel free to adjust them to your family’s needs and interests.

What skills are pre-writing skills?

Pre-writing skills help our children learn how to organize their ideas. The skills help them figure out what they want to say and how they will use their hands and their writing tools to accomplish this goal.

Speech language pathologists support how preschoolers and toddlers use their hands to achieve their goals. They tell us we should encourage them to use their hands to explore the world around them. This is because the more our children use their hands the easier it will be for them to learn how to use other tools.

Here are some great pre-writing activities you can try to promote the development of written language skills.

Pre-Writing Activity #1: Improving Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills involve the small muscles of the hand that we use to manipulate images, cut, paste, and write.

To improve fine motor skills try a few of these preschool fine motor activities:

Fine motor activities should be short and repetitive in nature. They should focus on one skill or one manipulative at a time and they should be fun and engaging.

Pre-Writing Activity #2: Matching and Sorting

Matching and sorting is a pre-writing activity that is a great way to introduce your child to the idea of ordering items.

Start with a batch of pictures or items that are the same size. Present two of the items and ask your child to pick out the one that doesn’t belong. Move on to a group of items, such as blocks or toys, that are the same color.

Depending on your child’s interests you can also try a group of items that are all the same shape or are all the same size.

Pre-Writing Activity #3: Ball Rolling

Early on, even before children can sit up or stand, they can start to work on their hand-eye coordination by rolling a ball.

Rolling a ball back and forth with your child is a great way to work on pre-writing skills. Be sure to encourage your child to roll his or her hands and fingers back and forth. This will help him or her learn how to use their hand muscles and to strengthen their fingers.

Pre-Writing Activity #4: Playdoh Shapes

You can use playdoh to create a fun environment for your preschooler to work on pre-writing skills.

When creating Playdough shapes, let your child use his hands to shape the playdough, and you can explore making letters this way. Make sure to encourage your child to use both hands together as one. This can also help teach them about various shapes while remaining a fun activity.

Pre-Writing Activity #5: Chalk Painting

Chalk painting is a great way to introduce your child to writing and writing tools. You can make it a fun activity by adding a little music or singing.

Encourage your child to correctly hold a chalk stick. This can help him or her learn how to hold a pencil or crayon when writing.

Pre-Writing Activity #6: Tell a Story

Storytelling is a great way to start working on pre-writing skills.

Try telling a story using pictures. As you tell the story, encourage your child to point to the pictures and name the items.

Pre-Writing Activity #7: Water Play

Water play is a great way to work on pre-writing skills.

Encourage your child to use his hands to move the water around. This is a great way to work on gross motor skills as well.

Pre-Writing Activities for Preschoolers

Working on pre-writing skills is a great way to help your child develop his or her ideas. The main thing you want to do as a parent or caregiver is to make sure that you keep the activities fun and engaging. Your child will want to engage with you and will want to repeat the activities.

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Kenny Kings

Kenny Kings is a chapter book author who is helping Paul Bellow fill the Hoosier Chapter Books blog with great content. You can find out more about Kenny Kings on the Kenny Kings bio page. Kenny Kings does not have children of his own, but he has more than enough nieces and nephews. With the help of the editorial team, he's been contributing to our blogging efforts to help families everywhere while promoting our chapter books. You can contact him at kennykings@hoosierchapterbooks.com.