Writing! Yes, it is important for preschoolers, too. One of the key things we need to remember is that we should encourage good practices. These include: holding writing utensils correctly, forming letters correctly (moving a pencil from top to bottom, etc.), and thinking about the uses and varieties of writing.
Sometimes we are so anxious to teach children to write their names or the letters of the alphabet that we forget that age-appropriate quality is more important than quickly learning to write names and letters. We need to develop hand muscles and encourage correct muscle memory first.
We can do this by having children write large lines, going from top to bottom, with water and paintbrushes on white boards. Once their muscles remember to do this from top to bottom, show children how to correctly form circles, start at the top and circle around to make the lines meet.
After these key prerequisite skills have been mastered and are a part of muscle memory, encourage the use of crayons or markers to correctly make the first letter of their names. Watch for proper formation and celebrate when this is accomplished. We encourage you to focus on form.
We also think lined paper is not appropriate for young children. It is our belief that they are not ready for this yet. Encourage proper formation of letters, no matter how large these letters need to be. Lined paper comes later once proper formation is achieved.
Remember when pencils are put in the hands of your preschoolers, look for the proper holding of pencils. If needed, provide a pencil grip. We cannot overemphasize the importance of giving a proper model for holding a pencil. Left-handed writers can serve as a model for left-handed children.
Finally, you can provide stations or centers showing the many uses of writing. Have a banking center with stamps, adding machine tape, etc. Encourage a post office with envelopes and mailing stamps. A store station can use credit card receipts, etc. These all help our children learn that writing is a way to communicate - in many forms.
NAEYC - 2.E.05.
Head Start - VII.E. 1-4.