Pre-writing, or writing warm-ups, are activities that strengthen the eye-hand coordination and fine muscle control needed for writing. They are a great way to get your preschooler ready for writing! 

Here is a list of pre-writing ideas that we have used:
  • Dressing: Have them zip, button, lace, and snap their own clothing.
  • Sewing: Have them sew with a large plastic needle and yarn. Button sewing is one of my favorites.

  • Drawing: Encourage lots of this and supply them with pencils, markers, crayons, chalk and more!
  • Tracing: We use sandpaper letters, Quilted Rag Letters and print.

  • Transferring: Transfer beans, popcorn, cotton balls, pom poms from one container to the next usung tongs or water using an eye dropper or turkey baster.
  • Cutting: Have them cut freely and also along lines and shapes they have drawn.
  • Folding: "Fold, press, flip" repeated over and over to make an accordian fan.
  • Stringing: String beads, buttons, Cheerios, macaroni or cut up straws.
  • Writing Devices: Keyboard, Typewriter, label makers, rubber stamp alphabets, magnetic letters...
Be adventurous and let your little ones create letters with pudding, rice, colored sand, cornmeal, whipped cream, finger-paint, clay, play dough, cookie dough, on a foggy window, in the dirt with a stick, or sky-writing (large letters in the air)  ~ the possibilities are endless!

I keep a box filled with different writing supplies to write on - stationary, card stock, printer paper, lined paper, sticky notes, pads of paper, mini- notebooks, index cards, scrap paper, construction paper, graph paper and more.  I like to keep a portable "Writing Center" for on the go. A zippered pencil case holds a small pad, index cards, pencils, colored pencils, scissors, and a glue stick. That way they can write anytime, anywhere!

We also have a large chalkboard, mini chalk boards and white boards for writing.

A few concepts from Ruth Beechicks book, The Three R's, that I will be implementing more with my preschooler include:
  1. Copying - I will continue to write models for her to copy.
  2. Dictation - I will dictate models for her to write.
  3. Creative writing - I will let her make up her own writings.
Most importantly, treat all those first writing attempts as real writing!
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Be sure to visit these brilliant women in this 10 days adventure between February 7th-18th! We love these ladies and we know you do too.

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  1. This looks great, Michelle. I agree with the concepts of copying, dictation, and creative writing. About two years ago I had to go back and begin some of this with my then eight year old daughter, and it has really made a difference for her moving forward. (Yes, she's way out of preschool, but the method will still work.)

  2. Hi, Michelle,
    I hopped over from Special Needs Homeschooling. Thanks for these awesome tips! I will definitely back when I have more time to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and browsing your site!

  3. Thanks Michelle :-) you have so many great tips to share to help foster and encourage a love of learning in our children. Your posts really inspire me to keep going and to try new things!
    Lots of love,
    Lus x