5 ways to help children learn to write

Whether your child is just learning to write or needs a little help practising pencil control, these easy ideas will make writing fun. Suitable for kids aged 3-plus, they build on what children are learning in reception and year 1.

1) Make an important list: writing is exciting when you’re a police officer or pilot!

Ask your child who they want to pretend to be – maybe a police officer, fire fighter, top chef or even pilot. Then they have to write an important list.


Police officer – clues

Fire fighter – directions to the fire

Top chef – ingredients for a meal for the Queen!

Pilot – important things to pack for their next adventure

ADAPT IT! Little kids can pretend to write – scribbling is fine. Or they can draw pictures of the things instead. Having a go is more important than getting it right.

2) Aeroplane loops: this is a great way to grow confidence and practice letter shapes

Ask your child to pretend their pencil is a plane and take it on a journey on the page. They can try doing loop-the-loops, zooming up and down and travelling in a straight line. Then change the plane to a boat and draw waves. Or a car travelling up and down zigzag hills.

3) Make a room sign: kids will be proud to write their name to put on their bedroom door

 You’ll need: card, pencils and crafty bits to decorate the sign with

  1. Ask your child to write their name on the sign. If they don’t feel confident, you could write it in pencil and ask them to go over it with a crayon. For little kids, write their name so they can decorate it – it’s still useful for them to see and recognise the letters.
  2. Now ask them to create a border by drawing different kinds of lines – loops, zigzags, waves
  3. Finally, they can decorate their sign however they like.

4) Play at being teacher: put your kids in charge!

 You’ll need: a chalkboard
Your child pretends they’re teaching their class – you, their toys, siblings or friends. Give them some chalk and a chalkboard so they can write their name and different instructions for their class.

5) Writing here, there and everywhere: look for writing all around

 You’ll need: a pair of eyes!

Challenge your child to find writing – it might be in a book, on a letter, on a sign or in a frame. And then tell them what it says. You could also ask them to look for specific letters. Or, if they’re learning phonics, they could look for words that they have to remember like a, it, at, as, an, in and is.