Your child will have a confidence boost if they can start their first day of school knowing how to write their own name (at the very least).
Here are some tips for encouraging your youngster to put pen to paper:
From about the age of two, children can participate in list writing. For instance, a "what we are going to do today list" can include words written by mum and illustrations by toddler. Scribbles are perfectly fine - at this stage it's all about recognising that imprints on paper have meaning.
Think laterally about places and opportunities to practice. A stick making marks in the sand at the beach is just as valid as a pen on paper.
Handwriting is also about fine motor skills, so seemingly unrelated stuff like making tiny snails from playdough or practicing threading cut up bits of straws onto pipe cleaners are excellent pre-writing practice.
Make sure kids see you writing. In this age of email and iPad, it's super important to ensure they still see adults writing EVERY DAY. Lists, notes, or a good old fashioned letter to your auntie.
When many children start holding a pen or crayon they'll do it with a closed fist. You need to gently encourage them to use the correct pencil or so-called tripod grip. Most stationery stores have special pencil grips that you can purchase to slide over the pencil to encourage the correct grip.