What Age should Children Start Writing? Should it be Before Starting School?

Starting school can be a stressful time! Should your child be able to write before they start? We have been trawling through the social networks and parenting websites to find out the answer to this puzzling question.

The common consensus is no . . .

As with most things parenting related, the websites and bloggers say that children are individuals and each one takes things at their own pace. Some children will be able to write their name before they start school and some wont!

Blogging for The School Run; Emily Organ says that her eldest son was not interested in learning to write before he started school and “would get cross if we tried to look at letters or numbers with him.”

Emily believes that learning should be fun stating: “The current Early Years Foundation Stage for children under five stresses the importance of learning through play.”


It is suggested by experts at the Baby Centre that pre-schoolers should be experimenting with crayons.

By the time they are five they should be more accurate when using them and be able to:

  • Make horizontal lines
  • Copy a circle and a square
  • Draw stick people

Children that go to pre-school or nursery may be taught to write their name whilst they are there.

The Baby Centre experts also give these words of wisdom: “Don’t feel pressured to push your child to learn to write!”

“Wait until they’re really interested and excited about it. Writing is a developmental skill that does not have a formal timetable.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! We hope you enjoy every moment you have with your child before they start school!

If you do want to try some fun activities with your children to help to encourage them to write then why not have a look at our handwriting worksheets and our top tips to improve handwriting!