Start Handwriting with Pre-handwriting Letter Patterns
Handwriting is a developmental process which starts when children are very young, with simple lines, dots and dashes, often seen as scribble. Learning pre-handwriting patterns is the important first step in handwriting, with children learning the shapes and strokes needed to correctly form letters. As a child develops control of the drawing tool they move from large (Beginners pattern worksheets) to small (Refiners pattern worksheets) pre-handwriting patterns.
Pre-handwriting patterns help your child to learn the shapes and directional pushes and pulls of the writing tools required to form letters. All letters are a combination of these shapes and lines.
Young children learn many of these directional pushes, pulls and changes in direction on a much larger scale, long before they pick up a pencil, through playing with cars or pretending to cook. These movements become the drawings/scribbles which young children form once they start mark making, initially as big uncontrolled movements then becoming more controlled and smaller as their gross and fine motor skills develop.
These handwriting patterns do not need to be taught as worksheet activities (although they do help to understand, and perfect, how to make the shapes, lines and patterns), drawing pictures and patterns in sand, paint and with other writing tools are all fun ways to practise these patterns. For tips on teaching early years children handwriting click here.
Once the pre-handwriting patterns have been mastered your child will have the skill base necessary, and be more confident, to form letters, numbers and symbols.
On this web site we have used coloured strips to provide visual clues for your child, helping to develop their understanding of letter pattern placement and size. The colours form a picture, which children can normally associate with, representing the outside world as depicted in many simple picture books and children's drawings. The blue strip represents the sky, green the grass/land and brown the soil/earth.
The different letter patterns have been grouped to help reinforce the directional pushes and pulls required to form them. These are similar to the letter formation groupings you will encounter when you progress to the beginning letter stage of handwriting.
Click on the handwriting pattern animation to see more patterns, or on the worksheets to print them off.