My Kindy Kid has No Interest in Writing! What should I do?

By Emma Daniels


So your 4 year old has no interest in writing, what should you do? Short answer is, don’t panic!

There is no requirement or developmental need for children to be writing before they go to school. Every child develops at their own pace and often forcing a child to complete a task they are not ready for or willing to take part in, can cause more harm than good.


I have been a Kindergarten teacher for 14yrs now and a variation of this concern is something I have encountered every year without fail. There seems to be a very common misconception that children need to be able to read and write before school. Or that because Fred down the street who is 3 can do long division, this somehow means that my child is behind. This simply is not true.


So what should you do?


There are quite a few steps that are necessary BEFORE a child can write. These are generally the focus of early education, along with the development of their social and emotional skills, independence skills and problem solving skills. 


Before a child can write they need to play, so let them play! I know that sounds a bit wild, but stick with me, I will explain. In order for a child to successfully write at school there are some muscle groups that need to be developed. 


Core Strength

So they can sit straight, hold themselves in a position to write and move side to side as needed.


Crossing the midline

This is the ability to move arms and legs across the body to the other side and back again. This is important for writing as we need to write across the page, from left to write, this involves crossing the midline.


Shoulder and arm strength

So we can write for extended periods of time across a page, up and down a page, bracing ourselves on the desk.


Wrist strength

To be able to successfully hold a pencil, manipulate it to form letters and to write for extended periods of time.


Hand and finger strength

To correctly grasp a pencil, manipulate it to form letters, and to write for extended periods of time.


All of the above needs to be developed and strengthened before a child can be expected to write. This is done through play. Running, jumping, throwing and catching a ball, swinging, pushing against things, rolling, tumbling, playdough, clay, threading and so much more. 

Children will more often than not form a natural curiosity for letters, writing and making meaning if they are exposed to it, see you using them and are allowed to engage with them in the way that suits their needs and interests.


Literacy rich environments are the best way to encourage an interest in letters, words and making meaning. Reading everyday, storytelling (drawing and scribing their words), labelling things, writing lists, naming things, discussing and identifying logos and road signs; all of these are ways you can start to introduce letters to your children. But, do not be worried if they don’t start penning sonnets and marvellous works of fiction just yet. 


“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”– Albert Einstein