5 simple activities for toddlers that encourage writing. These are simple to set up and use basic supplies.

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I let my children use crayons for the first time when they are toddlers. Usually around a year old, they show interest when I am writing a note, or signing my name, so it is a natural curiosity for toddlers to want to explore writing. These 5 simple writing activities for toddlers are appropriate for toddlers from 1 to 3 years old. They are great for playdates too and of course are activities that are really easy to set up and they use supplies you probably already have in your house.


Crayons or Markers

Construction paper


a Roll of craft paper

masking tape


5 Simple Writing Activities for Toddlers

Writing activities for toddlers: simple invitation to color with crayons.

1) Invitation to Color

Basic coloring is always the way my toddlers try writing and drawing for the first time. I tape a large piece of craft paper to the dining room table or a small activity table. Even taping paper to the floor works!

I set out a small number of crayons-this is an important tip! Offering only 2-3 crayons will save your sanity!  You can focus on talking about the colors of the crayons, and with fewer colors there will be less confusion.

Simple invitation to draw for a toddler. Plus 5 simple writing activities for toddlers.

2) Invitation to Draw

Another way to offer your child the chance to explore drawing is by taping a piece of construction paper to their high chair tray. This contains the scribbles to an easy-to-clean surface and allows your child the chance to focus on drawing with a more confined space. I like that because it helps them focus on the actual marks on the paper rather than the movement of covering a big surface. Of course, I like offering multiple ways to draw and write to my toddlers, because I want them to explore.

Simple writing activity for toddlers that teaches how to spell their name.

3) Invitation to Learn their Name

I start teaching my children to spell their names when they are infants. We use this simple name song during diaper changes and tummy time play to encourage interaction, and because it has helped my children learn to spell their name by the time they are two years old.

I write the letters of my child’s name on a piece of paper, and then point to each letter while singing the name song I shared in a previous post. Then I offer them a choice of a few crayons and they color over and around their name on the paper. It is simple exposure for learning to spell their name.


If you have preschoolers, this paper plate name spelling activity is a fun hands-on activity for kids learning to spell their name.

Teach toddlers their shapes with this simple activity that teaches pre-writing skills.

4) Invitation to Learn Shapes

Taking the name idea and expanding on it, we also tried shapes! I drew some basic shapes onto a piece of paper. With my child looking, I pointed to each shape saying its name. Then she set to coloring over and around the shapes.

I asked, “Can you color the square?” while pointing to the square to encourage actually marking on the shapes. Exposure is all we are focusing on with these simple writing activities for toddlers. With repeated attempts you will be surprised how much they learn!

Try this simple writing center that works for preschoolers and toddlers. It teaches pre-writing skills and basic concepts and works great as an activity during dinner prep time.

5) Invitation to Learn Numbers

I especially love using simple activities like this during dinner prep time. I can get the kids settled at the table and focused during a time that they can get a bit whiney. To explore learning numbers, I use the name and shapes idea, but I write the numbers on paper-either one number a bunch of times, or a group of numbers.


This activity for learning numbers was one that I turned into a center for my children one day while making dinner-it was something that both my preschooler and toddler could work on near each other. My preschooler worked on tracing the numbers while my toddler colored over her numbers. Both were learning in simple ways and I was able to get dinner ready! Any of these 5 simple writing activities for toddlers can be used this way.

If your toddler has shown an interest in writing or drawing, these simple activities are great for developing pre-writing skills and learning of basic concepts. They are very appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers.

Easy to set up activities for toddlers that encourage writing skills and learning basic concepts like shapes, numbers and spelling their name.

For more toddler activities to do at home you may want to check out these ideas:

Fine Motor Activity for Toddlers with Tape

Simple Color Sorting Activity for Toddlers

Tips for Indoor Water Play

Has your toddler shown an interest in coloring and drawing? How have you encouraged them to explore?

My Bored Toddler