12 Fun Ways to Practice Handwriting with Preschoolers

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Many preschoolers age 4-5 are starting to learn to form letters for handwriting. Most children, developmentally should not be learning to formally write until Kindergarten age (5+) but it is important to expose your younger preschooler to pre-writing lines and strokes that are needed for handwriting. So today I wanted to share some fun ways you can practice handwriting with preschoolers.

12 fun ways to practice handwriting with your preschooler, hands-on activities for pre-writing practice.

These are ideal for ages 5 and up. However, if you have a 4-year old that is able to start forming letters, these activities are fun too.

Before children learn to form their letters for handwriting they learn pre-writing lines or strokes. Many of these lines are the basic shapes that they learn in preschool. Things such as vertical/horizontal lines, circle shapes, cross shapes, diagonal lines etc. are all needed to form letters of the alphabet correctly.

12 Fun Ways to Practice Handwriting with Preschoolers

  1. Use mini marshmallows and toothpicks to form letters with
  2. Writing icing ice cubes on a chalkboard
  3. Make cookie letters using a rolling pin, and rolling the dough into lines to make the letters with
  4. Trace letters onto your child's back with your finger and have them guess which letter you wrote
  5. Make letters with pipe cleaners or wikki stix.
  6. Form letters with french fries (for once kids can play with their food!!) 😀
  7. Have your older children (5+) write out a shopping list
  8. Use a flashlight to make letters on the wall
  9. Draw letters on the carpet with your fingers
  10. Draw letters outside with sidewalk chalk
  11. Make letters with glue and cotton balls (draw the letter in glue on a piece of construction paper, then place the cotton balls on top to form each letter)
  12. Have them lay on the floor and imitate letters with their bodies (example: curling into a circle for the letter “O”, making their body look like an “S” and so on)

Handwriting doesn't have to be just pencil and paper. It can be a whole body, moving experience! Preschoolers and any child under the age of 6 learn best by using their hands to explore and experience their world around them. Paper, pencils, and sitting down at desks will come later! For now, just have fun and learn through moving.

Basic Shapes for Beginners

All preschoolers should master pre-writing lines or strokes before learning to form letters of the alphabet. I have a book that will show you how to do just that. Basic Shapes for Beginners: A Hands-On Approach for Pre-writing Strokes for Preschoolers is a 79 page PDF digital download that will give you 30+ activities that you can do with your child age 2-5 over a 6 week period of time.  It will introduce them to all the lines and shapes they need for making good letter formations and handwriting habits. You can also get it in paperback format and Kindle from Amazon


You can also get more ideas for handwriting by following my Handwriting Skills & Activities Pinterest board below.

Follow Heather G. | Golden Reflections Blog ‘s board Handwriting Skills & Activities on Pinterest.
You May Also Like:

Letter Formation Direction Cards, a free printable download.


Heather Greutman, COTA

Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant with experience in school-based OT services for preschool through high school. She uses her background to share child development tips, tools, and strategies for parents, educators, and therapists. She is the author of many ebooks including The Basics of Fine Motor Skills, and Basics of Pre-Writing Skills, and co-author of Sensory Processing Explained: A Handbook for Parents and Educators.

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  1. I love these ideas! If I tried to get my daughter to just sit and write, she would never learn anything. She’ll only pay attention to fun ideas like these ones! 🙂

  2. I don’t think I would mind doing some of those ideas myself! Have fun!! 🙂

  3. So many great ideas to help those little hands!

  4. Such fun ideas! My kids will love the marshmallow one…if I can get them to finish the project before eating them all!

  5. I’m so glad that this is on your top of 2014. I have been struggling with my four year old.

  6. Great tips! Shows the difference in schooling in different countries – my daughter is 4 and here (UK) they’re already learning joined up writing at school!

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