Before starting with letters, it is a good idea to make sure kids are fully versed in thier pre-writing skills. When a child can do most of the following, they are showing you the are ready to begin to learn to write letters.
- Shows desire to control direction of scribbles.
- Draw short straight lines.
- Draw a generally straight lines across a page.
- Draw curved lines and squiggles
- Approximately trace basic shapes of a medium to large size.
- paproximately trace lines with large curves.
- Is beginning to approximate spirals, circles and simple shapes on his or her own.
Teach your kids letter shapes and recognition the fun way. Activities like this increase retention and are more likely to keep your child engaged longer. They introduce your child to letters and their own ability to represent those letters while also helping them to strengthen muscle groups related to writing without cramping their hands and requiring finer motor skills than they are ready for.
- Make handwriting practice fun with sensory fun. Give your child a tray or tub and squirt shaving cream into the tray. Spread the cream out so it makes a thin layer and then let your child "write" in the cream with her fingers and hands. Spread the cream out again and "reset" again and again until you need more cream.
- Do the same thing as above but use yummy whipped cream instead of shaving cream.
- At the beach? Draw letters and words in the sand.
- Give your child a paintbrush and a bucket full of water and let him "paint" letters and words on a cement block wall or fence.
- Make dough for your favorite cookies and shape the dough into letter shapes.
- Make pretzel dough and make letter pretzels.
Any of these activities can be used for word recognition, practice with numbers and math facts and spelling practice as well.