Kids 3 to 5 years: Writing

Writing and reading go together. Both are ways to represent spoken words and to communicate information or tell stories. Writing helps children learn that letters and words stand for sounds and that print has meaning.


  • What’s in a name?
    • Your child’s name is one of the most important words he or she will learn. It is one of the first words your child will want to read and write. Print your child’s name in large letters. Have your child trace over your letters to get a better feel for them, and then practice copying the whole word.
    • Have your child write their name in a tray of rice.
    • Encourage your child to sign their name on their drawing. Even if this begins as a scribble, children learn that it represents their name.
  • Talk about writing.
    • Talk to your child about what he or she draws, ask questions, and respond to what your child says.
  • Use objects.
    • Make letter-shaped cookies (and eat them!) with your child.
    • Use magnetic letters on your refrigerator.
    • Once your child can grasp a thick crayon or marker, give him or her unlined paper and plenty of opportunities to draw and write.

Learn more

Parents and caregivers, here are some books on writing for kids.