What should a child aged 4 to 5 years be able to do?


Does your 4 to 5 year old’s handwriting look like this sample?

By the Reception Year, this is what teachers are expecting to see in 4 to 5 year old handwriting..letters that are clearly formed.

In school, handwriting practice will be 30 minutes a day

In school, this is an exciting time for your child and it should be exciting for you too. They will start to learn how to form letters, write their own name and eventually they will learn how to write sentences. At this age, children are often cognitively ready to write however their hand has not yet fully developed. This explains why children’s writing skills will vary across your child’s class.

During your child’s school life this is the most time they will receive to practice their handwriting.

4 to 5 year old handwriting sample

This is what they should be doing by now

4 to 5 year old handwriting should be about letter formation

Between 4 to 5 years of age, your child will continue to learn how to hold a pencil and how to control it. This is when the pencil marks have a purpose and are not random scribbles. As a result, light pencil strokes are likely to disappear. When drawing shapes, a 4-year-old child should be able to copy a cross and a circle shape. They can write the alphabet letters of V, H, and T. If they cannot do this, it would be a good idea to help them practice these shapes and letters.

At 5½ years, your child should be able to copy a square and a triangle shape. They should also be able to write the letters which comprise of basic round and linear shapes. These letters are v, t, h, o, x, l, a, c, w, and y.

Drawing remains a very important skill. Your child should also be able to colour neatly between two lines. When drawing a person your child will be able to draw its key features: a head, two legs, and two arms. If drawing a house they will be expected to be able to include drawing a door, window, and roof by the time they reach the end of being 4 years of age.

Handwriting skills by now

  • Enjoy Mark Making. Finds it fun to draw a picture.
  • Completes handwriting patterns. Without a change in direction.
  • Controls The Pencil. Making all marks on the paper clear and without wobbles.
  • Begins Drawing Handwriting Patterns. Following the pattern exactly.
  • 3 fingered pencil grip (tripod grip). When drawing or writing.
  • Uses one hand. Has a preferred hand dominance and does not swap hands during writing activities.
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