Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Handwriting Readiness

Most children love to draw and write! In fact, many little ones start testing these skills very early. Unfortunately, sometimes it's on our floors and walls rather that on paper! Here are some early skills that children acquire along with the approximate ages that many children start to master them:
  • Random Scribble - 1 to 2 Years
  • 2 to 3 years - Imitates circular, vertical, and horizontal strokes
  • 3 to 4 years - Imitates a circle and a cross
  • 4 to 5 years - Copies a square and a cross from an example
  • 5 to 6 years - Has established a dominant hand and copies a triangle from an example
Writing Readiness - In order to master the skill of handwriting, a child should be able to identify the letters of the alphabet. A dominant hand should be established and a tripod or quadropod pencil grasp is preferred. The child should follow basic verbal instructions and it is also important to understand terms such as "above", "below", "over", "under", and "between". Most importantly, a child should be able to copy the following strokes before they begin to learn how to write letters.

Reference:  Folio, M. R., & Fewell, R.R. (2000). Peabody Developmental Motor Scales, 2nd Edition. Austin: Pro-Ed


  1. Hello Dr. Zachary,

    Thank you for inquiring about my paintings. Yes the iris are for sale and yes, I paint from photographs. I tried to email you directly but I couldn't find an address. Please email me at
    by the way, I absolutely love your blog!

  2. I think the second tip within the "writing readiness" paragraph really is important when a child is learning how to write well. Holding the pencil with the dominant hand can really propel their handwriting into properly proportioned letters. I also want to add that went I read further, I think it's important to know the difference between all of those location-words that you mentioned at the end of that paragraph. These are stupendous tips for occupational therapy when you're learning how to write!