Handwriting Activity For Preschoolers

May 1, 2019 14 Comments

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During my daughter’s three year old preschool orientation, the teachers asked the children to write their names on the easel or have their parents help them. They mentioned that handwriting would be a big focus as the school year kicked off.

I was shocked that several children in the class could already write their entire name (last name included), while my kiddo was just starting to learn to write the letter O (really they are just circles, but that’s the same thing right?) Their handwriting was also better than mine as an adult.

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How To Teach Handwriting

I honestly had no idea how to “teach her” to write her name. I knew I would struggle with my kids’ homework later in life, (like high school algebra) but never thought I would struggle with preschool handwriting.  

Luckily for me, my mom taught first grade for 30+ years, so I reached out to her for suggestions. She said that one of the best methods for teaching handwriting is to trace letters.

We started practicing on pieces of paper, but my daughter didn’t seem interested and lost focus after a few minutes. So I really needed to think creatively about how to make this fun.

I am a firm believer in play-through-learning at this age. Children will have many years ahead of them sitting in a desk, and practicing with pencil and paper. Let’s take things off the paper and get creative.

Handwriting Using Objects

Aside from letter recognition, it’s important for your child to understand the general structure and sequence of the letters that comprise their name. You can practice this by writing their name on a large piece of paper, and ask them place objects on each letter. The child can easily see that an S curves, while a T is more straight. Also, by writing with objects, you are setting up the next steps in getting them to write directly on paper.

This activity is extremely simple, with minimal prep and clean up time. Write their names on a large piece of paper. Find objects from around the house in order to “write” their name, and let your child play through this fun learning opportunity. DONE!

You can use match box cars, stickers, Barbie shoes, action figures, building blocks, crayons; really whatever it is that’s laying around the house that your child is even remotely interested in, and that you have more than one of. We used these mega blocks, which are fun to build with and also great for sensory boxes and play through learning activities. 

Go through each letter of their name first to discuss letter recognition. Then have your child place the objects on each of the letters in order to “write” their name.

Practicing writing child's name by letting them play through learning. easy way for children to being to learn about letters #playthroughlearning #handwriting #playbasedlearning

Write your child’s name on large butcher block paper, poster board or even across several piece of construction paper. I like using the butcher block paper best, and then you can easily flip it over and pick other fun names to write, later on. We chose to do Mickey and Minnie over here after we mastered our first name. 

Handwriting activity for preschools to understand about letters structure #handwritting #preschooler

Let your child go at their own pace. If they want to start with the first letter, GREAT! If they want to skip to the end that is fine too. 

Fun handwriting activity that encourages preschoolers to learn about the shape and structure of letters and numbers #handwrittingactivity

You can also talk your way through each letter. “That is a C, can you think of any other words that start with the word C?” “What does a C sound like?” 

Handwriting activity for preschool aged children to learn about letters #handwritting

Remember that it does not need to be perfect, we just want them to grasp the general idea of each letter, and understand the structure of each letter. 

After they have done it a few times, encourage and show them how to use the blocks, to write their name in order just like you would on a piece of paper. 

At the end we counted how many blocks made up each letter. I also encouraged her to group all the blocks together according to shape, and then color.

We flipped the paper over and wrote down Mikey and Minnie and used crayons to spell out those names. Save the paper for later and take it out on a rainy day, and see if they can recall the activity and complete it on their own. 

Handwriting For Preschoolers

A fun play-through-learning activity for preschoolers, anticipating and learning to write their own name.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Difficulty Preschool Age Child


  • Butcher block paper
  • Mega Blocks
  • Pom Moms


  1. On a large piece of butcher block paper write your child's name
  2. Gather several sets of like objects from around the house
  3. Go through each letter of your child's name and explain how they should use the objects to "write" their name by placing them on top of the letters in nice neat lines
  4. Repeat with different objects
Practice handwriting with your preschool aged child in this fun play based learning activity. Encourage your child to learn letter structure and letter shape by practicing tracing the letters with objects they love #handwriting #handwritingpractice #preschoolhandwriting #playbasedlearning #playtime #preschoolactivity


Fun play based learning activity for kids to learn about letter structure and shapes of letters to get them thinking about handwriting. Early handwriting practice that gets children thinking of letters in a different way. #handwriting #handwritingpractice #preschool #preschoolactivities #playbasedlearning #namewriting #indooractivity

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There is no such thing as a normal life, there is just life. Christine just happens to be a mom and lives in Normal, IL and blogs about food, family, and fun.

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  • Brianna at Mastering Mom Life May 1, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    This idea is genius! My daughter just turned 2 and I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate words and letters besides just reading and tracing in books. I know that once she gets a little bit older, she is going to LOVE this! I can’t wait to start with her. Thank you so much!

  • Elease May 2, 2019 at 12:04 am

    This is super. I used to teach Montessori and there are tons of sensorial ways to work on letters and shapes to prepare for writing. Fun stuff!

  • Leigh Suznovich May 2, 2019 at 3:15 am

    What a fun activity for the little ones!!

  • Shani May 2, 2019 at 3:33 am

    I’ve used this exercise with my kids and it’s really helpful!

  • joy abou zeid May 2, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    This activity looks so fun!!

  • Savannah May 2, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    You are so creative! I will have to try this with my little one that wants to learn to write his name ♥

  • Christa May 2, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    I live this idea! I have a three year old and can’t wait to try this with him.

  • Julie May 3, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    A great fun learning activity. Wow they wrote their last names too? Mine’s only learning how to write his first name in preschool.

  • Mary Leigh May 5, 2019 at 11:36 am

    This is so fun!! And so versatile, you really could use any favorite small toys or snacks even! Adding the pieces with tongs later would be another way to practice fine motor!

    What a great activity that anyone could do!

  • Heather May 5, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    That is a great idea! Handwriting can be a hard topic to handle because that fine motor movement isn’t as fun as the gross motor movement at this age. At least for my kids LOL! They’d much rather run and climb than sit and write!

  • Meredith May 5, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    I love this! I feel lost sometimes on activities to teach my son about letters. I don’t want to spend 45 minutes putting together an activity he won’t be into. He’lllove this though!

  • Nikki May 7, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Ok, totally using this idea! We’ve used chalkboards and stencils, but this one could be fun and since she’s at the same age it’s important!!

  • Kristen May 10, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    These are some great tips!

  • Erin May 18, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    I love this! Getting out three year odl to practice his name is like pulling teeth. We recently gave up and decided we would just try again later, but we may see if he is ready for this activity!

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    Normal Life Mom

    I'm Christine, a mom who lives in Normal (a real place). Here to share all things food, family and fun! An emphasis on healthy family friendly foods and snacks (with allergies in mind), DIY learning activities and play ideas. Plus all things toddler/preschool and motherhood related

    Christine xoxox

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