Printable Pre-writing Cards and Busy Bag Idea

Have you discovered PicMonkey yet? It’s full of wonderfully creative features. I use it regularly to jazz up and edit my photos, and I also love creating invitations and thank you cards with the program. But I’ve recently discovered a new way to use it.

A few months ago the team at PicMonkey added a new collection of fonts, effects and overlays related to the theme of school. I must admit I got quite excited when I spotted the lines and dashes.

I couldn’t resist having a little play with this new feature and, inadvertently, I created some pre-writing cards that I thought could form the basis for a new busy bag.

Printable Prewriting Cards_My Little Bookcase

We love visiting cafés and we have lots of medical appointments for Ike (which means lots of time spent in waiting rooms). I love having a range of busy bags to pack for these occasions.


1. Print the pre-writing cards. You can download them here.

2. Laminate and cut the cards

3. Hole-punch the cards and secure with a ring

4. Add the cards to a sandwich bag,  along with a white board marker and a stop watch.

Prewriting Busy Bag_My Little Bookcase

5 ways to use the pre-writing cards:

  • Starting at the dot and finishing at the arrow, simply encourage your child to trace along the line with the whiteboard marker at their own pace.
  • Time-trial: See how long it takes your child to complete each card. Have a go yourself too.
  • Personal Best: Ask your child to try and improve their time.
  • How Many?:How many cards can you complete in 20 seconds? 30 seconds? 1 minute?
  • Mr. Squiggle: Turn the traced lines into pictures (e.g. snake, caterpillar)

Handwriting Skills

Developing prewriting skills_My Little Bookcase

These cards were simply meant to act as an activity that Cam could have fun with while waiting for doctors or babycinos to arrive. There was originally no intention to turn these cards into any sort of lesson.  However, while playing games with these cards, children will develop many skills and understandings that will prepare them for handwriting:

  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Development of hand-eye coordination
  • Development of pencil/pen grip
  • Learning where to start writing on a page
  • Learning to write from left to right
  • Development of writing fluency
  • Producing broad handwriting movements
  • Preparing to form letters

About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase

Printable Pre-writing Cards and Busy Bag Idea


  1. Oh pic monkey… now you’ve tempted me to explore even further Jackie. Love the challenges you’ve got here. Thank you again awesome lady. (Pinning this!) xo P

  2. Too clever Jackie! Why didn’t I think of that :P ?!

  3. Love it! Will definitely be using these!!! Thank you :-)

  4. I love these Jackie! :) Will definitely be printing a set! Miss Daisy is doing so well with tracing/writing letters I need more things like this for her to enjoy and practice pencil grip in the process! :)

  5. Love em! Pinned :)

  6. What a great idea. My little girl will love this. She has just decided she doesn’t need a day sleep any more (aargh!) so I am in need of a few more busy bag ideas for ‘quiet time’. Thank you :)

  7. My smallest is just starting to get interested in writing and I think he’d love to muck around with these. And my big boy would enjoy the challenge of the timer and hopefully it might encourage him practice is pencil grasp. Thanks!

  8. What a great idea. My three year old is interested in tracing letters at the moment and gets so frustrated when she gets it ‘wrong’. This might be a great intermediate step for her!

  9. I loved these when I saw the Montessori version into sand. These are nice though because you can write straight on them. I’ll have to make some up for Jack :)

  10. Great idea for cafes and waiting rooms! Looks so simple and easy to make too :-)

  11. How creative!! Will definitely add these to our busy bags!

  12. Jackie, this is such a smart way to use Picmonkey. I love this idea.

  13. I love your idea and will include it in my weekday work boxes! Pinning!

  14. This is a great idea! I love having handy little things like this in my bag, just in case, while we are out and about!

  15. Super clever, these would be great to fit in my handbag & use for a backup boredom buster

  16. Wow, I would have never thought to use Picmonkey this way. Fab idea.

  17. Very useful Jackie. Thanks! Pinning :)

  18. Such an awesome way to practice early writing skills. My daughter would love this!

    I’d love for you to come share this at our Pinning for Play link party!

  19. These are terrific and great for parents and teachers.

  20. Awesome idea!! We have so many appointments every week, I will be making a set of these to go in our sensory kit, thank you!

  21. Excellent resource!

  22. What a great idea! My youngest would love this. And what a great use of picmonkey as well!

  23. What a great idea to use picmonkey Jackie! I really love the ease of this activity and the fact that i could easily make one for each twin! Some great concepts here…pinning!

  24. Thanks so much! I just made four sets to use as birthday gifts. Always good to find an inexpensive and useful gift!

  25. I’m going to print these out and laminate them as a christmas gift to take home for our two learning disabled preschoolers. it’s a great idea and i’m sure they will have fun with it. thankyou for making it readily available

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