Four Essential Printing Readiness Skills

Do your students have the motor skills they need to be ready to learn to print?

Over many years of teaching children early drawing, pencil skills and handwriting, I have found that there is a particular foolproof order of pre-writing development.  


Children need to be able to imitate fine motor actions.  Learning the song plays that are associated with singing is a fun way to learn motor imitation. 

1. Imitating Gross and Fine Motor Actions


They need to be able to follow dot cues to form early lines and shapes. They learn to control the pencil so that they can stay within paths.

2. Starting at a Go-Dot

2. Staying Within a Path


They learn to look ahead to where they want the pencil to go to make consistent, recognizable shapes. They first learn this skill when they are looking at the shape they want to draw.


They need to learn the shapes so well that they can draw them without needing to see an example.  

3. & 4. Drawing Shapes With and Without a Model

Learning to Print:

Once children are able to draw lines and curves of differing sizes and orientations, they are ready to begin to learn to write uppercase letters. This step typically occurs in pre-school through early Kindergarten.



Once children are able to draw these three simple shapes (X,  ☐, △), they are developmentally ready to be successful with learning lowercase formations. This readiness typically happens in Kindergarten.  

Check out what these great teachers have to say!

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  1. As a middle school teacher, I admit to not being aware of all the steps it takes to get kids writing. Thanks for your ideas and expertise.

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