10 Pre-Writing Activities for Preschoolers to Prepare them for Writing Success


When it comes to pre-writing activities, there are a lot of different things you can do to help prepare your preschooler for writing letters and numbers. In this blog post, we will discuss 10 pre-writing activities that are both fun and educational. These activities will help your child develop the skills necessary to grip a pencil correctly, control a pencil, and begin to form letters correctly.

What are Pre-writing Skills?

Pre-writing skills are the basic skills that your child needs to develop in order to be able to write. These skills include:

Why are Pre-writing Skills Important?

Pre-writing skills are important because they help your child be able to write letters and numbers correctly.

How can I help my child develop Pre-writing Skills?

There are a number of pre-writing activities that you can do with your child to help them develop the skills necessary and prepare to write. These activities include:

  • Drawing Lines and Shapes
  • Tracing Lines and Shapes
  • Dot to Dot Activities
  • Coloring Pages
  • Play Dough Activities
  • Building with Blocks

What are Pre-writing strokes?

As kids get more hand strength and have more control over their pencil or crayon, they begin to have the ability to make different strokes with their writing instrument. Practicing pre-writing strokes will help them develop even more control to write letters.

Pre-writing strokes are the basic strokes your child needs to know to form letters correctly. Think about all the strokes you use when printing the letters of the alphabet. These strokes include:

  • Horizontal Lines
  • Vertical Lines
  • Curved Lines
  • Zigzag Lines.

Ways to Practice Pre-writing Strokes

There are a bunch of ways that you can help your child practice pre-writing strokes. Here are some fun ideas that you can do at home or in the classroom:

Use a Salt Tray

Your kids can practice pre-writing without even holding a pencil. A salt tray is a great way to introduce making lines. Fill a tray with salt and have your child make pre-writing strokes in the salt with their finger, a paintbrush, or a magic wand.

Use a frisbee to make an inexpensive salt tray


While I love a good salt tray, you don’t need to have salt to practice pre-writing. Kids can just use their index fingers to trace the lines on a letter or shape.

finger-tracing letters - a pre-writing activity for kids

Write in Shaving Cream

Write letters or shapes in shaving cream on a mirror, window, or on tabletop. This is a great way to make pre-writing strokes more fun and tactile.

Shaving Cream Connect the Dots

This is a cute connect the dots idea from School Time Snippets. Before writing in shaving cream, start out by putting dot of shaving cream on the surface, then have kids connect the dot.

Writing on a Friend’s Back

Beware! This one might invoke lots of giggles. Kids can make lines on their friends’ backs. They can also make lines on their own palm or thigh.

Pre-writing worksheets

There are a ton of pre-writing worksheets available online and in classrooms. These are great resources to help your child practice pre-writing strokes. Some of the pre-writing worksheets have just strokes. Others, like these Easter egg pre-writing practice worksheets have tracing lines within images.

ocean theme pre-writing worksheet for kids

Simple Mazes

I think that easy mazes for preschoolers are a great way to help kids practice pre-writing strokes. Start with simple mazes and then move on to more complex ones.

apple themed maze for a pre-writing activity

Match and Connect Images

You can make your own match and connect activity with stickers, or you can use a printable activity page. Add stickers to a piece of paper and make sure that you have two of every sticker. The activity is similar to a maze, but it challenges kids to first fin the matching images, and then connect them with a line. Challenge them to NOT touch any other images on the page.

farm-them pre-writing activity for preschoolers

Mark Making in Playdough

This is a great idea from Fantastic Fun and Learning. Roll playodugh out and use a chopstick or pencil to make lines in the surface.

Tactile Cards

I love these touch & feel prewriting cards from Teach Me Mommy. You can also use my ideas from my tactile letter cards to create cards with different textures.

tactile letter cards for pre-writing activities

I hope that these tips and ideas will help you as you work on pre-writing activities with your preschoolers. Remember, pre-writing skills are important for helping your

Pre-Writing Activities in the Store

Are you ready to work on some pre-writing activities with the kids? Check out the following pre-writing activities in the Early Learning Ideas store today.

pre-writing activities and mazes for preschoolers
fine motor pre-writing activities printables