Encouraging Emergent Writing

For young children, art and early writing skills go hand in hand. At first, your child will start experimenting with crayons and the cool things that they can do. Children often start to develop early writing skills through creating art, such as scribbles and begin to imitate the act of writing by symbolic marking and drawings that express their thoughts and ideas. These early writing skills are called emergent writing. Emergent writing is your child’s first attempt at the writing process. The development of emergent writing skills, such as writing their own name are important for setting up future reading and writing skills.
There are different stages of emergent writing that develop through art experimentation and these stages are:
1.) Drawing
2.) Scribbling
3.) Wavy scribbles or mock handwriting
4.) Letter-like forms or mock letters
5.) Letter strings
6.) Transitional writing
7.) Letter strings
8.) Transitional writing
9.) Invented or phonetic writing
10.) Beginning word and phrase writing
11.) Convention spelling and sentence writing
For more emphasis on these different stages, please feel free to visit: https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/nov2017/emergent-writing
Here are some of the many ways you can encourage the development of emergent writing skills at home:
1.) Encourage and praise scribbles. Children as young as two years old start to experiment with different art materials, such as crayons. Scribbles may not seem like much to the normal eye, but there are a lot of vital developmental changes happening for your little one. Have your child scribble away with different writing utensils, such as crayons, markers and colored pencils. Hang your child’s work in a special place and give them praise for it.
2.) Write in front of your child, then reflect. Whether it involves writing a shopping list, a sticky note reminder or filling out a form, explain what you are doing and ask them to try and write something similar.
3.) Create a writing space for your child. You can call it their ‘Office.’ Gather different types of material, such as paper, envelope, pencils, pens and sticky notes. Organize them on a shelf, desk or in a basket for you child to easily access. You can have your child complete different tasks like address and date envelopes, or write ‘’to do” lists.


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