The Importance of Cutting and Coloring in Pre School

basic shapes for preschoolers

Preschoolers and prewriting skills can be a complicated journey.

Sometimes we forget the basics, move on to pencil and paper and wonder why they can’t write.  My suggestion is to slow down and get back to basics!


What are the basics and why are they so important?  I am talking about coloring and cutting- old school. Yup! 

  • Cutting and coloring develop in-hand manipulation skills.  
  • Cutting and coloring help separate two sides of the hand. 
  • Cutting and coloring develop the exact part of the hand the kids need for tool use.  Think- utensils, paint brushes, toothbrushes.


Here are my go-to activities that we can do in preschool years to develop the foundation for handwriting: 

  • Coloring on a vertical surface.  This is a win for so many reasons! 
  • Use really small crayons. My favorite crayons are Crayon Rocks.  They look like rocks and they are beautiful.  You can only hold them with your thumb, pointer and middle finger that’s it. 
  • Tearing paper also gets the thumb, pointer, and index working.
  • Cutting on cardstock is a great place to start.  
  • Using loop scissors to get them to start using this open-close movement.  With loop scissors, you get an instant win as you develop the same muscles needed for cutting.


Working on these basic fine motor skills with coloring and cutting is super-duper important to laying the foundation for handwriting. 

Development of gross motor and visual motor skills are also part of the foundation needed for handwriting. Take a look at my Developmental Playbook to learn more and help get started with your little one! 

Your Handwriting Resource Guide