A 4-year old entering preschool should begin to demonstrate some pre-reading and pre-writing skills. He or she should start to recognize some familiar words in the environment such as a stop sign. Your child should also begin to understand that the print in books you read makes up the words you are saying.
Children at this age should be able to recognize and identify some of the letters in the alphabet, especially the letters in their own name. As far as pre-writing skills, they should begin to write their own name and start to copy or trace letters, even if the letters are sometimes reversed.
These skills will give your 4-year old a good foundation needed to be able to move into reading and writing as he or she get older.
Some basic skills that children going into preschool need to be working on include communicating their basic needs, making choices, following a schedule, and calming themselves when upset. Read more about it here. Hope this helps!
Four year olds need lots of practice with basic shapes needed to make letters. Please remember that diagonal perception does not develop until between 4 1/2 years and 5 years of age which makes triangles and letters such as M,X, A, difficult during the first part of the fourth year. Practice large on a large easel or blackboard rather than using
pencils and paper. We have better motor memory in our large joints and muscles. Once your child can write or draw the shape or basic letters in his name large, then move to the paper. The motor memory and the visual picture will already be present leaving only the little muscles to remember in the hands. Don't worry about lined paper yet. Talk with his/her preschool teacher also about the requirements. "Is Your Child Ready to Write" is a free downloaded brochure on www.lynaot.com