The Pros and Cons of Teaching Handwriting in the Preschool Classroom

The changing times have created the need for children to go to school at younger ages than ever before, so it’s tempting to push them through the pre-readiness stages of development. We are expecting more academically inclined kindergartners. That’s why it might appear to be wise to begin teaching them to write in preschool, but is it wise? To find the answer, here are a few things to consider.


Before a child is capable of writing legibly and with meaning, these skills must be mastered.

1. The ability to draw shapes and the fine motor development it takes to be able to draw those shapes.

2. The comprehension it takes to understand that letters symbolize sounds and that sounds put together create words. Until that is mastered, the child has no reason to be motivated to write.

These prerequisite skills take time to even initiate, but they must be mastered before a child can be taught how to write.

Preschool is designed to assist three and four year old children in mastering the developmental skills needed for reading and writing. The focus of preschool should be to build gross-fine motor to be physically able to write. They also need language and cognitive skills as a way to reach the comprehension a child needs to understand that the printed word has meaning.

They need time to master the gross motor skills it takes to create the ability to manipulate with fine motor intensify for writing. The preschool should provide manipulative for this reason. Toys that need buttons pushed are great ways to master the prerequisite for writing.


Needless to say, the child becomes confused, and I believe that when a three year old is pushed to write letters and words on paper, it can create a child who hates to write, later. The fine motor capacity needed to write is beyond what any average three year old can do and creates a frustrated student.

Beyond this, the writing will most likely be too illegible to read, even if the child knew what he was reading. The best way to prepare a child for writing is to work on fine motor development while your waiting for them to mature in the language and cognitive developmental stages that are required for writing legibly and with meaning.


The first step to writing readiness is when an infant gazes into his mother’s eyes, and when that’s been done again and again, he begins to gave at other things too, like the mobile over his bed.

The toddler who is sitting up by now, will begin tp lay with the activity board you attach to the rails of his crib. He begins to twist, turn, push and pull objects in order to create a reaction.

Once he’s crawling, he begins to get curious about how things work, and he finds how be trial and error sometimes, but when the lessons are learned, he begins to like for you to read to him about those things he’s so curious about seeing in his daily life.

By then, your child will be in preschool, where he will learn to fine tune his curiosity and his ability to manipulate objects to get a reaction. These things must be mastered before he can pick up a pencil property and begin to write from his desire to create on paper.


Use activities that develop eye-hand coordination.

Toddler toys that require a child to push, pull, twist and turn will still foster writing readiness in the preschool child. These things should be available in the play areas.

To foster later writing, have the child trace around shapes on paper and draw shapes in sand or ever shaving cream on a table. This instigates the desire to create meaning in print. Once these things come easily to him, he’ll be ready to write, the right way.

Your best bet to help a child develop good writing skills is not to push them before they are ready. You’ll know when the right time arrives when he begins to find that desire inside to express himself in documented print. This will create an adult who can communicate much more efficiently, both verbally and in writing.