October 2023 Newsletter – Prewriting Skills in Early Childhood: Prewriting Skills

Prewriting Skills

There are several skills children need to acquire to be ready to write.  To be able to copy the common lines and shapes that form letters and numbers, children must have the following skills:

  • Trunk strength – The ability to hold one’s head and chest in an upright position so that the arms, wrists, and fingers can move unencumbered.
  • Visual skills – The ability of the eyes to see and the brain to process visual stimuli.
  • Grasping – the ability to hold and manipulate objects with their hands. Here is a great resource to learn more about grasp development.
  • Hand dominance – Identifying hand preference as demonstrated with consistent use for tasks such as drawing and using utensils.
  • Muscle strength – The ability to push on a writing tool with enough force to make a mark.
  • Crossing the midline of the body – The ability to move one’s hand across the imaginary line that runs down the body, creating the left and right sides.
  • Hand-eye coordination – The ability to move the hands where desired based on the visual stimuli entering the brain.
  • Alphabet knowledge – Familiarity with the shapes and sounds of letters.
  • Self-regulation – Writing requires children to focus attention and manage frustration, which requires a level of self-regulation or executive function.
  • Self-confidence and persistence – If a child feels insecure about their work, they may be less likely to engage in writing activities.


For the main article Prewriting Skills in Early Childhood, CLICK HERE

For the article The Development of Writing Skills, CLICK HERE

For the article Prewriting Activities for Infants and Toddlers, CLICK HERE

For the article Prewriting Activities for Preschoolers, CLICK HERE