Teaching Early Handwriting Skills Through Art, aka Toddler Artists Make Better Writers

Harrison is in his colorful house period.  His art may not seem gallery quality to you, but it’s teaching early handwriting skills to this little man of mine.

Last week it was suns and the week before that he was doing people.

He’s actually the only one of my six boys who has been very interested in drawing and coloring before.  When my oldest two were toddlers I bought coloring books and got out the crayons and . . . nothing.  They were decidedly uninterested in coloring.  So I’ve never bought a coloring book since.  Fortunately for Harrison I also never threw away those first attempts at coloring interest so there were a number of unused and very blank coloring books for Harrison to experiment with his art.

There are a few things I’ve noticed about the differences between my non-artists and my lone artist.

Harrison has control and ability over his crayon or pencil at the same level my non-drawers did at years older.  His motor control has developed much more quickly due to practice.

He has already figured out the first letter of his name is H and he draws H’s all over the place without ever having been taught this.  My others all had to be taught that there were letters in their names.

He’s barely four and I haven’t actively taught him any writing skills so far, but I can already tell he will not find writing as big a chore as my others have.  Even my 14-year-old still balks at having to write very much and I think it all goes back to not getting the practice when he was a toddler.  I’ve really struggled getting any writing out of my older kids, not because they didn’t know what to say, but because they hated the physical act of putting pencil to paper. It was so hard, such a chore.

I’ve read over and over how toddlers should draw and color to develop their motor skills, but I suppose I didn’t really believe it until I saw the contrast between my non-drawers and my artist.

Click here for more ideas on teaching those very essential early handwriting skills.


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