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A Super Simple Pre-Writing Activity

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If you are short on time, or don’t want the fuss of a big set-up, this pre-writing activity is for you! It literally takes seconds to prep and clean-up.

I’ve been talking a lot about pre-writing shapes and activities on my Instagram recently. Turns out, a lot of parents are feeling pressured to have their toddler write letters – it might be a well-meaning relative or competitive friend (we all have one, right?) but mastering writing is something that really shouldn’t be rushed.

Before you even start on introducing these shapes to your little ones, they need to develop fine motor skills and build strength in their hands. You can read all about those activities here. If you have no idea what I mean about pre-writing shapes, check out this graphic:

In my previous post, I mentioned running a little diagnostic activity to see what stage Z was at. For the record, she is 3.8 years and has been happily building up her fine motor skills since she was tiny. I really wouldn’t worry about getting your child to try these shapes until they are around 3 but of course, that partly depends on the individual child. If you are used to doing arty activities with your children, then you’ll probably notice them doing lines or circles within their artwork anyway.


  • Blackboard
  • Chalks
  • Paintbrushes
  • Jar of water


Simply draw a selection of the shapes onto the blackboard, as you can see, I did a few of each for Z to practise. If your little one is entirely new to this, I would suggest sticking to a few of the simpler shapes first.

It’s worth noting that Z didn’t diligently complete all of the shapes I drew out for her. She did approximately half before picking up one of the board wipes and cleaning off the shapes. That’s all okay, nothing is forced – some days she might do everything I’ve planned out and some days she’ll want to take the activity in a different direction.

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SAVE this super simple pre-writing activity to your own Pinterest board by using the handy graphic:

Sian Thomas

Sian Thomas

Sian is a trained teacher mama to three awesome children and wife to Greg. As a family of expats, they travel the world every couple of years for new adventures. Right now, they live in Vienna, Austria.

One thing Sian is super passionate about? Helping mums worldwide navigate the early years of parenthood.

You can join her on her brand new venture, This Playful Home, by visiting www.thisplayfulhome.com or clicking the email sign up button below!

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