simple steps banner


Woman coloring with young girl

Scribbling and drawing are early forms of writing and are meaningful to your child. When children are given a chance to draw pictures and tell stories, they’re also learning reading skills. They begin to understand that marks on the page can carry meaning. Some of the first stages of writings involving drawing pictures and telling stories about what the pictures represent.

Scribbling and drawing also help your child develop the fine motor skills they’ll need later to control a pencil to form letters. Allowing children to practice making lines, curves, and circles inspires them to write letters when they’re ready.

Here are some tips for writing with your child:

  • Practice fingerplays like the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" to strengthen hands and fingers.
  • Draw using lines, squiggles, and shapes. These squiggles will later turn into letters.
  • Have your child write a pretend shopping list of favorite healthy foods.
  • Make letters out of play dough. Squish them up afterwards to help build hand muscles.
  • Draw a picture together and have your child "autograph" the work.
  • Display your child's artwork to build confidence.

Additional Resources for Writing with Your Child

How Your Child’s Writing and Art Changes Over Time from Zero to Three
Letter Writing Salt Tray and Sensory Play from Little Bins for Little Hands


Read | Write | Sing | Play | Talk


Reading Suggestions!

  • Little Plane Learns to Write
    Stephen Savage

    Little Plane loves everything about flight school but he especially loves learning to sky-write! He adores practicing ARCS! He excels at practicing DIVES! Unfortunately, he loathes practicing LOOPITY-LOOPS.

  • The Things I Can Do
    Jeff Mack

    Want to see what Jeff drew? It's a book about him and all the things he can do! He can make his own lunch! He can get his own drink. He can take his own bath--pretty cool, don't you think?

  • I Am a Story
    Dan Yaccarino

    From cave drawings to the invention of the printing press to our digital age, discover how a story has been told in many different ways from the past to today. It's always been around, making us happy, sad, excited, or scared and bringing people together.

  • Maybe Something Beautiful
    F. Isabel Campoy

    What good can a splash of color do in a community of gray? As Mira and her neighbors discover, more than you might ever imagine!

  • Grumpy Feet
    Lisa Stubbs

    The imaginary friend of a very grumpy little girl is determined to cheer her up in this lovely story that celebrates imagination, friendship, and sharing.