I am just wondering whether I should start writing lessons for my 4 years old daughter. The lessons consists of drawing letters A, I and O and some coloring (currently O is most difficult letter to draw for her). It would take at most 2 hours (writing lessons 1 hour continuously another 1 hour with coloring). She is going to KG soon and I learnt that early handwriting lessons are more harm than good. My daughter and me is both left-handed. Is it too young for early handwriting lessons or should I start now? The reason I like to ask this question is she could be ready for her KG and she won't be surprised by those lessons.

  • 3
    What does your daughter want? Has she shown any interest in such exercises? And I personally think your time frame is way too long.
    – Stephie
    Feb 11, 2017 at 12:32
  • Yes, she lost interest during first half of handwriting lessons. She asks skip to coloring exercise.
    – user26407
    Feb 11, 2017 at 13:57
  • 2
    Just to clarify: ten minutes is a long time for a 4yo. I personally think forcing a child to learn can have the opposite effect.
    – Stephie
    Feb 11, 2017 at 14:06
  • 1
    Have you seen this question/answer? It might be helpful. parenting.stackexchange.com/q/3928/9327
    – anongoodnurse
    Feb 11, 2017 at 15:18
  • All mentions are in regards to handwritting. Does the OP mean printing? This matters especially as many government funded schools are removing cursive from the curriculum.
    – WRX
    Feb 14, 2017 at 2:55

2 Answers 2


I think you are spending too much time on this. I admire that you want your child to succeed, but there are many ways to encourage fine motor without doing the same tasks for an hour.

Use tweezers and tongs to pick up objects and place them in a bowl or bottle. Sort by colour or size or shape while you are at it.

Paint -- with paint or water. Colour, use play dough to make small things. Clay and other materials can be baked in the oven so that the object lasts.

Weaving and sewing. There are large children-safe blunt (plastic) needles that make this a great activity. String beads, popcorn, use a hole punch to help if necessary. Your child might like using shaped hole punchers and they are also good for fine motor.

LINK These melting beads and other crafts are fun and encourage fine motor.

If you do print and trace, use a larger marker or thick pencils. You can also buy pencil grips that help little hands manipulate things letter.

Cutting with scissors or a blunt knife is good for fine motor.

I'd try breaking up these sort of activities into not longer than 10 minute intervals. Dance, sing, exercise, go for a walk -- gross motor is critical in dexterity, too. A healthy body is not only one part of us, but all of us.

Make it fun. Lifelong learning is fun if we don't turn it into a chore. Best of luck!


First - an hour is way too long. 15 minutes or so is the most I expect of my soon to be four year old, but adjust based on her attention span.

As far as teaching handwriting - it's not a bad thing to do per se; many will have learned some writing in preschool, so having her on a similar path will not be bad - just don't focus too much. I would strongly suggest contacting her school and asking what sort of curriculum they use in Kindergarten, and then going with something compatible with that; for example if they use "Handwriting Without Tears" you can use that method (shape-based, if I remember correctly).

What we mostly do with our son (almost 4) is encourage him to write letters on coloring or other crafts that he does. He makes a birthday card for a friend, he tries to write his name on it. He made mommy a valentine's day card yesterday; he tried to write MOM and his name on it. We don't stress perfection or really any degree of actual tuition; we simply encourage him to try and make the letters, and give him encouragement when he gets something remotely close. That way he finds it fun, and continues to like to write. But nothing like "repeat letters 100 times", that would be both boring and might make him frustrated.

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