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How to Teach a Child to Write

Updated on September 30, 2012

Teaching a child how to write is not easy and can not be done overnight. Writing takes time to master so do not be discouraged if your child does not catch on to the concept right away. There are techniques you can use to help your child begin writing but it will take a lot of practice.

Toddlers and Drawing

Drawing is the first step in learning to write. Every time your toddler draws you a picture he is helping to improve his fine motor skills. By developing fine motor skills it will help your toddler to develop the tripod grasp used by most of us while writing.

As your child grows his drawing change from scribbles to objects that both you and your toddler can identify. Each picture begins to tell a story. By the time your toddler is four years old they will begin writing words in their own "special way". This means they will use a series of shapes and scribbles that tell what there drawing is about. This is an excellent time to start focusing on writing their letters and name.

You can make dotted outlines of the alphabet letters for your toddler to trace.
You can make dotted outlines of the alphabet letters for your toddler to trace. | Source

Writing the Alphabet

You can start by teaching your toddler to write the letters of the alphabet. It is important to not focus to much on the way they are holding their writing instrument because they may not be ready to use the tripod grasp and you do not want to discourage them.

You can teach them by writing a letter and having them copy what you did. You can use paper, a dry erase board or a chalkboard. First you draw the letter and next they do their best to copy your work. It will take some practice for their letters to match yours, just remember to encourage your child and let them know they are doing a great job.

Another way is make them trace an outline of dots to create each letter. You can do this yourself or you can purchase workbooks that are full of these types of activities.

This is also a good way for your child to learn the alphabet if they do not already know it.

If your child writes his/her name backwards at first do not get discouraged.  The more practice they get writing their name the better they will become at it.
If your child writes his/her name backwards at first do not get discouraged. The more practice they get writing their name the better they will become at it. | Source

Writing Your Name

Once you have taught your child how to write the letters of the alphabet you can teach them how to write his/her name. You toddler will be proud of his accomplishment. You can also teach him how to write the names of other family members. Your toddler will love showing off his new writing skills to everyone!

Writing Games

There are a number of games that you can play with your child. One of the best ones is a teacher/student type of game. This is were you and your toddler will take turns in each role. You can play it how ever you choose. You can each draw letters and have the other guess what it is, or you can write people's names and guess who they are, etc. This is also a great game for older children to play with younger siblings. Children love playing school. The best part is that they are learning while they are playing!


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    • JillKostow profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Kostowskie 

      5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      CassyLu1981 - I am glad you found my suggestions useful! I am sure they will help you get your son more enthused about writing more than just his name!! Thanks for commenting and sharing!!

    • JillKostow profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Kostowskie 

      5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      leahlefler - Writing can be frustrating for kids with fine motor skill delays. I am going through the same thing with my second grader. It does get easier when the fine motor skills catch up!

    • CassyLu1981 profile image


      5 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      My son does not like to write at all! He is in Kindergarden and I feel horrible because all he is willing to write is his name. *sigh* Great ideas! I'll be using these this week with him. Thanks! Voted up and shared :)

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 

      5 years ago from Western New York

      Writing is such an important skill - my older son loathed writing until this year, when his fine motor skills finally caught up with the coursework (he's in first grade, but he lags in the fine motor skill department)!


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