Beyond ABCs: Supporting Emergent Writing Skills


Welcome to our blog series on early literacy! In our previous posts, we've talked about how important it is to help young children learn to read and write. Today, we'll focus on how you can support your child's early writing skills. Writing is a crucial part of learning to read and communicate.

Tips for Early Writing Skills

Here are some simple tips to encourage your child's early writing skills:

  • Scribbling is Good: When children start writing, they often scribble. This is a natural and important step before they can form letters. Give them crayons, markers and chalk to scribble with and celebrate their efforts.
  • Encourage your child to draw: Through the simple act of putting crayons or pencils to paper, children embark on a path that nurtures not only their creative expression but also their fine motor skills. Drawing enables them to refine their dexterity and control as they shape lines and curves, fostering the precise muscle movements necessary for holding a pencil or crayon with confidence. This playful practice lays a strong foundation for the intricate hand movements required in writing. So, whether it's colourful scribbles or imaginative doodles, every stroke on the page brings them one step closer to mastering the art of writing.
  • Make a Writing Center: Set up a special place in your home with paper, notebooks, pencils, coloured pencils and stickers. Encourage your child to go there often to practice writing.
  • Show How to Write: Children learn by watching. Let them see you write notes, lists or letters. Explain what you're doing as you write so they understand that writing is valuable.
  • Write Their Name: Encourage your child to practice writing their name. Start by writing it for them to trace and as they get better, let them write it on their own. Display their name in the writing center to give them a sense of ownership.
  • Learn Letters: Help your child recognize letters by pointing them out in their surroundings, playing letter games and reading alphabet books together. This helps them learn the alphabet and prepares them for reading and writing.
  • Encourage and Praise: When your child writes, praise their efforts and show interest in what they've written. Focus on the process, not just the end result, to build their confidence.
  • Celebrate Their Writing: Display your child's writing on a bulletin board or create a special gallery to show off their work. Share their writing with family and friends to make them feel proud.

Remember, the goal is to create a positive and supportive environment for your child's writing. By providing tools, opportunities and encouragement, you can help them develop important skills for reading and writing in the future.

Here’s a list of books that celebrate simple drawing and writing that kids will enjoy:

  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
    Harold and the Purple Crayon is a whimsical and imaginative children's book that follows the adventures of a creative young boy named Harold, who uses his magical purple crayon to draw and bring to life a fantastical world of his own making.
  • The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
    The Dot is an inspiring children's book that tells the story of a young girl named Vashti who discovers her artistic potential and self-confidence through the simple act of making a dot on a piece of paper.
  • Press Here by Hervé Tullet
    An interactive and enchanting children's book, Press Here engages young readers in a magical journey by instructing them to interact with the pages through pressing, shaking and tapping, creating an imaginative and delightful experience.
  • Ish by Peter H. Reynolds
    Ish is a heartwarming children's book that encourages creativity and self-expression as it follows the story of Ramon, a young artist who learns that art is about expressing oneself 'ish-ly' and embracing the beauty of imperfection.
  • Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
    A delightful children's book that sparks the imagination, Not a Box chronicles the adventures of a clever rabbit who transforms a simple box into a series of imaginative and fantastical experiences, demonstrating the power of creativity.
  • Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg
    Beautiful Oops! celebrates the magic of turning mistakes into opportunities, guiding young readers to see the beauty in unexpected mishaps and encouraging a creative and resilient outlook on life.
  • Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle
    Draw Me a Star invites young readers on a poetic journey, exploring the power of imagination and the endless possibilities of creation through the simple act of drawing a star.
  • Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni
    Little Blue and Little Yellow beautifully illustrate the heartwarming story of two friends, each a different colour, whose adventure highlights the transformative power of friendship and acceptance.

Recommended Resources:

In the next blog post, we will talk about recognizing letters and how it helps with early reading. Stay tuned for more helpful tips and strategies to support your child's literacy journey!