When we think of learning how to write letters, very young children come to mind, so many of the activities offered on the internet are geared toward young hands that need to develop finger/hand dexterity. For whatever reason, older people sometimes need to learn or relearn how to form letters too, and many of the suggestions offered within this post consider that issue. Regardless of the age, a fun or playful approach can make the learning/relearning process much more interesting, no matter where the learner needs to begin.
Note: Have a letter chart handy so letters can be copied more easily and independently. Do not limit how letter formation is learned, allow the learner to choose the process that appeals to them most.
Here are some suggestions…
Finger play: Learners who enjoy forming letters with their finger, a chopstick, or a cotton swab may enjoy writing in sand, salt, baking soda, cornstarch, or shaving cream. A cookie sheet makes a great base for these mediums.
Hand play: There are lots of ways to form letters with the hands such as with toothpicks, chenille stems (pipe cleaners), bendable wire, a paintbrush and water color, yarn or string, play clay, and any other items you can think of.
Tracing tools: Stencils, clay stamping letters, large cut-out letters, wooden letters, etc, can all be used to trace letters with something. Cut out letters from textured papers (example: sand paper, shiny paper), can be used to trace with fingers or around with a writing instrument.
Games to play: Encourage the use of one letter at a time with simple games like tic-tac-toe and Dots. Instead of X’s and O’s, use the first letter of the players’ names or any letter chosen to claim a square.
Playing with writing instruments: There are a wide variety of things to write with, and just as many colors to choose from, that can make learning to write letters much more interesting. Choose something that appeals to you to play the game Follow Me. This open-ended game is designed as a playful way to make the writing process fun and purposeful. The game uses easy to find items and encourage pre-writing skills such as shape formation, lines, squiggles, circles, dashes, dots, curves and other fun things. It can be used as a precursor for script as well…where letters connect. Make up your own fun games too.
Letter art: Focus on one letter at a time and play with it by drawing within or around it an interesting way. Make swirls at the end, make block, bubble, or large letters. Draw something that begin with that letter inside it. Example: F/flowers
Body letters: Body learners may enjoy forming the letters of the alphabet with their body. Active Alphabet is one example of a game. Dancing while forming letters may be fun for some as well.
Word Puzzles: Word puzzles such as fill-ins and crossword puzzles allow for puzzlers to write letters that fit into a certain sized area. There are puzzle books available for people who need larger areas to write in, and some have easy to solve puzzles. These are great for the relearning process.
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