The fun thing about having a kid based blog is that readers get to watch as my daughter learns and grows. I tend to go with the flow of what my daughter wants to do, and the past few weeks she has been hard at work learning how to write her letters. Is your child in the process of learning how to write? If so, I’d love to share five ways that Little C practices writing her ABCs.
When I was teaching second graders, there were a few of them that still struggled with handwriting issues, so I decided to come up with as many ways as possible for my daughter to practice writing her letters as soon as she became interested. The first thing your child needs to learn is how to draw lines, and circles, and crosses. All of this will happen in their own time, just give your child plenty of opportunities to play with markers, crayons, and chalk! My soon to be three-year-old daughter Little C learned a lot when I colored alongside her casually asking if she could imitate the lines, and circles I made. Now she has moved on to learning how to write her letters, so the tips I’m sharing focus mostly on writing the letters of the alphabet. You can use several of these activities no matter what stage of writing your child is at by adapting your instruction to fit
1) Fun Letter Tracing Apps
When it came to learning how to write letters, I wanted something fun and easy that would spark my daughter’s interest in writing. I know this skill is a difficult one to learn, so I wanted her to be motivated. I found a few amazing apps that have not only peaked my daughter’s interest in learning how to write but within two days I noticed she could already write a few letters on her own in her bath paint. Perhaps you are like me, and not a huge fan of having your young child use technology, but I have learned that it can really be helpful if you balance the use of technology with other hands-on activities such as the ones I have also listed in this article. I believe in exposing my child to various learning tools, and in this day and age technology is becoming a major player in the world of education.
Want to know what our favorite letter tracing apps are?
- First up is an app called Trace it, Try it. I love this app because it uses numbers to help guide your child in numerical order around each letter to ensure they are properly forming each letter. This app includes both upper and lower case letters, numbers 1-20, and basic CVC words. If you click on the link provided you can see screen shots of this app. Little C loves this app because it literally cheers her on, and rewards her with special digital stickers when she correctly traces letters. Even though my daughter hasn’t been heavily exposed to using a phone, or tablet, she has quickly figured out how to operate this app, and she knows how to change between tracing letters and numbers if she wants to move on to something different. The only drawback is that this app is not available for Android. Not to worry, if you have an Android device, skip to app number three!
- Next up is Little Write- The Tracing App for Kids. On this app you can do upper and lower case letters, numbers, shapes, and words. My daughter’s favorite part is the fact that this app tells her the phonic sounds that each letter makes. I love the fact that you can add words for your child to trace. I haven’t shown my daughter this feature yet, but I have added her name, as well as her picture. She is going to be so excited to see her own name pop up on the screen. Like app number one, this one is also not available on Android.
- If you have an Android tablet, or phone, ABC Kids Tracing and Phonics App is another great letter tracing app. Little C loves the fun animals that dance around in the background as she traces each letter. This app also offers fun digital toys and stickers as a reward for properly tracing letters. There is a lot more to this app than just letter tracing, but that is all that we have used it for so far since that is my daughter’s current obsession.
2) Letter Tracing in The Bathtub
Writing letters in bath paint is Little C’s second favorite way to practice writing. Nearly every night I whip up a quick batch of homemade bath paint with our DIY bath paint recipe. You could also use shaving cream, but with our bath paint, you can just wipe your hand over the letters to erase them and start over with a different letter. To make the “letter cards” that your child will use as an example, all you need is sheets of foam and a permanent marker. When the foam gets wet, it easily sticks to bathtub walls. (On a side note, we also use cut up pieces of foam to study sight words at bath time!)
3) Letter Tracing Workbooks
I’m not a huge fan of worksheets for young kids, and my daughter seems to agree with me, but this trace and wipe workbook gets a five-star stamp of approval from both of us. This trace and wipe workbook has large letters, which is great for young kids who need lots of room for their unsteady lines, and it’s formatted to teach your child how to properly form their letters before providing the opportunity to trace and write letters independently. My daughter enjoys wiping the pages clean after completing them, and I enjoy saving money on a workbook that is reusable! We purchased our book on Amazon. They also sell a book for lower case letters, and one for tracing different types of lines, shapes, and other pictures.
4) Letter Tracing Salt Tray
Letter tracing in a salt tray is always a fun sensory activity. You can use salt, sand, or sugar. We usually use purple sand we bought at the craft store for under $3, but this time I wanted to make this activity Christmas themed. We used salt, white glitter, and red sequins to make this Christmas themed. Your child can trace the letters in the salt with their finger, or you could throw in a candy cane to use as a writing utensil to make it a fun, festive writing activity! Here is a link to the printable Christmas themed tags we used. I printed the tags out on cardstock, cut them out, and wrote one letter per tag. We use these letter cards anytime my daughter wants to practice writing letters.
5) Practice Writing with Toys and Objects You Already Have
Why not use familiar objects, and toys you already have to teach your child how to write? Chalkboards, paper, and whiteboards provide plenty of variety for young kids with short attention spans. Our favorite familiar objects to use are magnet letters on a white board. My daughter is far from being a letter writing expert, but with a little instruction from me, she can place a magnetic letter on a whiteboard and practice writing letters. We also use the letter cards I made for the salt tray activity to practice writing letters with crayons, pencils, chalk, markers, colored pencils, and oil pastels.
If you are preparing to get your child ready for school, or you just have a child like Little C that is eager to learn how to write, I hope you found this article useful. We would love to hear about any fun writing activities that your child loves, just drop us a comment.