My 5 1/2 year old has fine motor delays and struggles with handwriting. He’s still young yet, but I try to make his handwriting work fun so he doesn’t get put off. Sandpaper alphabet cards are a popular way to have kids practice forming their letters, but my mom gave us this set of alphabet cards that teach kids how to form their letters.
Much of his writing comes in the form of storytelling, like the Star Wars books he made or the Jabberwocky sequel pop-up book we put together. However, I need to make a concerted effort to reinforce the proper way to form letters. The teachers are trying to do this at school but New Kid is a bit of a jokester (understatement) and likes to go about doing everything “the silly way.”
Instead of saying “that’s wrong”, which always gets a laugh of satisfaction from him, I have to find more creative ways of getting him interested in writing his alphabet the correct way.
But back to the alphabet cards.
I’m sure a crafty, resourceful mom could make a set of these herself. It is a set of laminated cards with the uppercase letter on one side and the lower case on the other. Arrows guide the child up and down according to the correct way to write each letter. You hold a magnet stick on the back and manipulate the magnet button up and down the dotted lines in the direction of the arrows. (Always supervise children when using magnets.)
The coordination involved in holding the cards and manipulating the magnets was a tricky business so the first thing he did was to trace the arrows with his fingers.
These particular cards are rather expensive (my mom got them as a teacher), but you can find them online at Fun and Function (not an affiliate link). The Kid O A to Z Magnatab (affiliate link) operates along a similar philosophy but with a stylus and tray instead of individual cards.
We don’t get through the whole deck in one sitting, so I try to encourage him to do a few cards each day, to keep it fresh in his memory.
How do you help your child learn letter formation and practice their handwriting skills?