Should A 4-Year-Old Be Able To Write Numbers? (How To Teach?)

Learning to count up to 10 or even more is something most 4-year-olds can do easily but can 4-year-olds write the numbers? And if they can, how can you teach them to write independently?

Should a 4-year-old be able to write numbers?

A 4-year-old can recognize and write numbers up to 10 in the correct order. Some 4-year-olds can even go higher. 

Your child will start recognizing numbers by watching cartoons or with the help of educational toys and games, but when it comes to writing, they need a lot of help.

So, with your help, your 4-year-old should be able to write numbers but do not expect the writing to be very precise and neat. Sometimes your little one may not write in the correct order as well. And that’s okay because your kid is still developing his skills.

Moreover, sometimes 4-year-olds also write mirror numbers and letters (just like the mirror reflection of the original letter). This is a normal pattern, just correct the child and move on, he will eventually learn to write correctly.

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How to help 4-year-old write numbers?

Here’s how to teach your 4-year-old to write numbers:

1- The child should recognize numbers:

I have mentioned above that most 4-year-olds easily recognize numbers but in your particular case, ensure that your little one does so. Show him numbers randomly and ask him what it is. When your child easily recognizes, it’s time to start teaching him to write them. 

If your child doesn’t recognize numbers up to 10, you must not overburden him and teach him the recognition first. 

2- The child should hold a pencil correctly:

The next thing to ensure is that your child can correctly hold a pencil (or whatever you are using to teach him to write like crayons). If he cannot hold it properly, then your first step is to teach him to hold it correctly and use it on paper. 

3- The child should be able to trace shapes:

Tracing simple shapes like lines, circles, rectangles, squares, triangles, and diamonds is important because if your little one can trace these easily, he will learn to write the numbers quickly. 

Click here to buy the shape tracing workbook on Amazon. 

4- Start practicing with a wood tracing board:

Before teaching your child to practice writing on paper, start with a wooden tracing board. Like this one on amazon. 

By practicing on a wooden board, your little one will understand the shape of the number and will practice moving his hand and fingers in the right directions.

If you don’t have a wooden tracing board, click here to get one on Amazon. 

5- Start with one number at a time:

After some time practicing numbers on the wooden board, use tracing sheets and start with one number at a time. Get a number tracing workbook on Amazon. 

6- Use Rhyming phrases to teach the child to write numbers:

Using rhyming phrases to teach the child to write the numbers is a good way to make learning fun and productive. For example:

  • 1 – A straight line down, and then we’re done. This is the way to make a one.
  • 2 – Make a candy cane and give it a shoe, this is the way to make a two.
  • 3 – Around the tree, around the tree. This is the way to make a three. 
  • 4 – Down, Across, and down some more. This is the way to make a four. 
  • 5 – Down, around, and cap up high. This is the way to make a five. 
  • 6 – Make a curve until it sticks. This is the way to make a six
  • 7 – Move to the right and slide the dragon. This is the way to make a seven.
  • 8 – Two mister circles put on some weight. This is the way to make an eight. 
  • 9 – Make a circle and down the line. This is the way to make a nine.
4-year-old writing numbers

7- Quit tracing and mark dots to join:

dots to write numbers

When you are confident that your little one can trace perfectly, it’s time to mark the dots and let the child join the dots to make numbers. The number formation rhymes above will help your child make the proper number shape. 

Encourage him to write independently and reward him for doing things right. 

8- Stop marking all the dots:

few dots to write numbers

Reduce the number of dots (or the guidelines) and let your little one write with fewer instructions. The child will learn to write independently within no time. 

9- Stop marking dots altogether:

Finally, stop marking the dots and encourage the child to write independently. Reward the child for writing each letter properly. 

10- Use the same-sized lines or blocks to teach:

Do not use different notebooks or papers to teach the child. Always use the same-sized lines or blocks so your little one can learn easily. Once he masters writing the numbers, you can try out different-sized lines or blocks. 


4-year-olds can write numbers with the parent’s or teacher’s help. Start with tracing on the wooden tracing board, then introduce tracing sheets. After that, quit the tracing and mark some dots to let your child write independently.

With some time and patience, your little one will write numbers perfectly very soon.

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