Early Writing

Support preschoolers as they express their own ideas through pictures and words

Girl signing her name

At A Glance

Early writing in preschool brings together many developing skills. Young children use fine motor, thinking, and language skills to produce writing that holds meaning and can be shared with others. We can support children’s development of early writing skills by narrating as we write, talking about different types of writing, and encouraging children to write on their own.

What It Looks Like

A quick glance at ways you can support preschoolers' early writing skills

Take Dictation

Help children connect their ideas with words by writing down what they say and reading the words back to the child, like this educator does with a child’s colorful artwork.

Model Writing

Label and narrate your own writing to make the act of writing visible to children. Listen as this educator describes the lines used to form the letter “D.” After writing, the educator invites children to comment on the features of the uppercase and lowercase letters.

Promote Writing

Provide a variety of materials, and encourage children’s independent writing. Here, children have access to crayons, colored pencils, and markers, as well as different colors, sizes, and types of paper.


Support Name Writing

Name Writing is a strategy that uses children’s natural interest in their own name to encourage letter writing.

This strategy can be used as part of a daily sign-in routine, or during other routines, such as having children add their name to a class job list. 

A child copying their name from a model
Wave book cover



Illustrated by Suzy Lee, this wordless book shows a child playing in the tumbling waves. It invites readers to think of their own words to go along with the story.


Alma and How She Got Her Name

Written and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, this book is about a young girl who notices how long her name is and learns the meaning of each of her names.

Alma and How She Got Her Name book cover
Book page from A Letter to Amy


A Letter to Amy

Written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats, this story is about a boy named Peter who writes a letter inviting his friend to his birthday party. The story is filled with different writing and print images.

Activity Cards for Preschool Classrooms

Part of the STREAMin3 curriculum, these activity cards provide simple and fun ways to support children's early writing skills
Friendship Notes! Activity Card
Writing notes

Friendship Notes!

Encourage children to write notes to friends.

Make a List! Activity Card
making lists

Make a List!

Create lists as a group, or encourage children to write their own lists.

Messages Activity Card
filling in words


Write a message with blank spaces and prompt children to fill in the missing words.

Write That Letter Activity Card
writing letters

Write That Letter!

Practice writing letters in silly, engaging ways throughout the day.


Get Our Resource Guide

Includes questions and activities to guide your use of the videos, book suggestions, and activity cards featured for each of the Core Skills