With the Kids

Fun Ways to Practice Writing the Alphabet

My little girl is now interested in writing and drawing lines, so I figured she’s ready to start forming those lines into letters. We now take time everyday to practice writing letters of the alphabet from A-Z!

Writing Alphabet Letters

As she’s just starting out, we go slow and easy. We play this little game that she loves. I write 5 letters at a time on a piece of paper. Sometimes it’s just the uppercase letters, sometimes lowercase, and sometimes both. I make sure she watches me write each letter, helping her see how I formed them. Then I put a large rectangular box under the written letters and tell her to try writing each letter in the box below. This lesson also helps with learning to follow directions too.

The first time we did this, I helped talk her through writing each letter. I say “For the B, try drawing a line and then two round bubbles next to it”. Sometimes just saying “Draw down and around and around” isn’t enough for someone writing letters for the first time. It’s not a letter B until you are told it’s a B. As a parent, you have to see things like a child would for the first time.

Writing Letters of the Alphabet

She tries her best and I give her praise for her efforts. I say things like: “That’s pretty close” or “I can tell you are writing an A” or “Great job writing that letter M”. I make sure to let her know “it’s okay that it doesn’t look just like mine, you’re still learning and it just takes practice.”

This activity is great simply using a scratch piece of paper, something laying around. Or I’ve just bought a dry erase board for my son to practice his handwriting on and I let my daughter try it on this too.

Preschool Writing Letters

After she gets through the whole alphabet, then she loves to take a turn having me copy what she’s written down. She writes down a few different letters or shapes or squiggles, and then I copy what she’s written in the box she’s provided. I love this!!

Copying Letters to Write

We try to do “writing time” everyday. I’ll be sitting at my laptop on the table and she’ll be practicing her letters next to me. Or even church is a great time to work on this, it keeps her occupied for at least 10 minutes! She’s starting to recognize a few letters on her own now and it’s fun to watch her eyes light up as she does!

What activities are you doing to help your child learn to write?

23 comments

  1. OH! I love this. I am totally linking up to it right now.
    Visit me over at my literacy blog “On The Lap”. If you have more ideas that help promote literacy, please let me know. Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you’ll let us know when you drop by.
    Graciously,
    Aimee

  2. I saw Jenni’s post about the certain order they teach their children, my son just started kindergarten and i practiced at home with him last year for “pre-school” and he knows some letters by name and sounds but not all. so now his teacher has us practicing. and she said to start with UPPER case letters. but after having read Jenni’s post i can completely understand teaching lower case letters. my son has seemed to be more attached to them from the get go anyhow. i’m going to go against his teachers recommendations now and go with Jenni’s!!! i think for him, this will be easier! and funner for bother of us. great article!

  3. You ladies all have such great ideas! My son and daughter love doing letters with wikki sticks (sticky yarn available at most teaching stores), we also cut out huge letters out of cereal boxes and glue on things that start with each letter since the sounds go hand and hand with actually writing/learning the letters. Sidewalk chalk is also fun. I also like to do rainbow writing, I write the letter in pencil and they go over it with all the colors of the rainbow!

  4. Love this idea – tried it with my son this week and he loved it too. He is just beginning to learn to write his letters so any new fun way to work on it with him – I am all ears! :) Thanks!

  5. I love this! You always have such great ideas! And I’m going to get some tomatoes this weekend to try the yummy tomato-basil-goat cheese recipe. I’m already craving it!!

  6. I will write them in pen or pencil and then have my daughter trace them with a marker of her choice. Or I will draw part of the letter and she fills in the rest. She also likes connect the dots, so I’ll draw the letter in dots and she connects.

  7. My daughter has FINALLY allowed me to guide her with her printing, she is now almost 4 1/2 and starting JK in a week…yikes!

    I haven’t worried about it up until now because all I would have gotten into was a huge power struggle.

    I’ll have to try this out, thanks for the idea.

    You have great ideas. Thanks for sharing them with us!

  8. Great post! I love how you gave ideas for praising. They need more than just “good job” or “I like…”

    I also love the part where they get to be the teacher and you get to be the student.

    My son likes to make mini books. We staple a couple of pieces of paper together, and he “writes” a story. They are among the favorites on the bookshelf.

  9. I use this site daily: http://www.handwritingworksheets.com/print-k/make-pk-dots.htm . You can type whatever (like the name of a place you are going or a short sentence, sibling’s name etc). But do a print preview and choose landscape to see if it fits on the page.

    http://www.senteacher.org/Worksheet/35/Handwriting.xhtml is one from my files. We are already writing so now we are working on penmenship and spelling so I am using the first link now.

    And- Hey Jenni! – thanks for the explanation! I always wondered why letters were taught in a certain order.

    We did the shaving cream. And also made play doh letters – it takes longer and is a more visual way to learn the letters (as opposed to tactile or muscle memory-ish).

  10. Love that you are reading your child’s cues as to being ready, as a preschool teacher can I just say that the first thing to teach them is the LOWER case letter. It’s very important as this is the way that you see real words in books and the world around. It will make it so much easier for them as they grow and learn to read and write more.

    Just FYI, we teach our children in this order: cadgqoes, then xvwyzk, then lhtfjbprnmu

    we teach in those sets starting with c then we have them make a c with a short line to make an a; then a c with a tall line to make a d; a c with a line with a curve to make a g; you get it.

    If you like messy activities (and really clean tables) put some shaving cream down and have them practice writting with their fingers in the shaving cream. It erases easy and it is an AMAZING cleaner. Your tables will never be cleaner.

    Teach the writing of capital letters as necessary: first letter in proper nouns.

    1. Lowercase first for writing or reading? I have never heard of it for writing. We have always started with the capitals as they are so much easier to master. I would love to look at the program that starts with lowercase to see if it can give me some ideas. I am always looking for new tricks since every child learns so differently. I swear, I think that some years I have needed a different method for each kindergartener. Can you add a link to the info about lowercase letters for me? I would really appreciate it.

  11. Great ideas. I will definitely try it with my son b/c he is getting to the age where he wants to know how to write everything.

    One thing I did with my daughter when she was 5—I’d ‘write’ things (like her name) in little dashes or dots and let her trace them to connect. There are websites where you can download that kind of font onto your computer too but I just did a few words by hand.

  12. Another great (and a little more tactile…and messy!) way to practice writing letters is by filling a cookie sheet with a thin layer of sand (of sugar/flour). Make sure the cookie sheet is one that has a little ‘lip’ or border around it so all the sand stays IN the pan! I like to use the Crayola Play sand – it’s colorful, etc. Anyway – just have them practice writing letters in the sand with their fingers. It’s easy to ‘clear away’ and start over, plus they are getting down to the nitty gritty by using their fingers to make the letter shapes, etc. I used to this with my preschool class…they LOVED it! Now I do it at home with my own daughter…it’s such a great way to practice…just something a little bit different. My daughter LOVES writing her letters…any ‘school book’ I can pick up is very much appreciated, but activities like this help to reinforce the concept in a unique way!

  13. That’s a great idea. B is really into writing letters right now too.
    I’ve laminated letters and had B use a dry erase marker to trace over them.
    I model how to write it and he copies.
    I let him try it out in a salt tray.
    Chalkboard/whiteboard
    Aquadoodle is a fun spot to try it out

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