Emergent Writing Milestones By the end of two years:
- Scribble spontaneously.
- Scribble and draw on the same page.
- Use the terms “writing” and “drawing” interchangeably.
- Choose different instruments and colors with which to write and draw.
By the end of three years:
- Hold a pencil in the correct position for writing.
- Make vertical, horizontal, and circular strokes with a pencil or crayon.
By the end of four years:
- Copy simple shapes.
- Draw a person with 2-4 body parts.
- Draw circles and squares.
- Begin to copy some capital letters.
Between the end of the third and the end of the fourth year:
- Experiment with a growing variety of writing tools.
- Use drawings to stand for writing (usually during dramatic play).
- Understand the difference between writing and drawing.
- Assign messages to their writing and drawings.
- Understand that print carries a message.
- Begin to understand the left to right directionality.
Between the end of the fourth year and the end of the fifth year:
- Understand that writing is a way of communicating for a variety of purposes.
- Represent their experiences and stories through drawings and dictation.
- Copy or write familiar words, such as their own name.
***These milestones are based upon the American Academy of Pediatrics Developmental Milestones.