Learning how to write the letters of the alphabet is one of the main academic skills of early childhood education. Years ago this was mainly taught through having children practice by putting a pencil to paper but, nowadays, there are so many other creative ways to get practice time in. I wanted to share some of my favorite alphabet writing activities that are perfect for both the classroom and learning to write at home.
1) Draw letters in playdough. Set out play dough and let the child use a rolling pin to smooth it out and then write in the dough with a chopstick or craft stick (Read more at The Mailbox)
2) Write letters in shaving cream. Spray shaving cream on a table and then let children smooth it out on the table and write letters in it with their pointer finger.
3) Draw letters in paint. Put paint in a ziploc bag, tape up the edges, and let children practice writing letters in the squishy paint while keeping their hands mess-free. (Read more at Fun With Mama.)
4) Make writing time a part of play time. Put various types of paper (pads of paper, scraps, construction paper, blank cards, etc) and different writing utensils (pencils, pens, highlighters, colored pencils, etc) around play areas in the home or classroom. Encourage children to make grocery lists, birthday cards, road signs, and anything else that will enrich their playtime.
5) Trace letters in slime. Make simple white slime, put some on a plate, and let children trace letters. (Read more at The Soccer Mom Blog.)
6) Start a gratitude journal. These adorable, free printables from Little Learning Lovies are perfect for taking your children through the alphabet and making lists of what they are grateful for. The littlest in the family can trace their parents writing and older preschoolers can practice writing their letters as parents spell the words out for them. (Get the printables at Little Learning Lovies.)
7) Paint with water. Put water in a cup and let children paint letters on the sidewalk or on a chalkboard.
8) Draw letters in containers of different materials. Put a dry item like rice, sprinkles, sand, or salt in a shallow container and let children practice drawing letters with their fingers or an unsharpened pencil.
9) Erase letters with a q-tip. Draw letters on a dry erase board and let children trace over the letters with a q-tip to erase them. (Idea from a different activity I saw at Toddler At Play.)
10) Make a nature journal. Make a nature journal (how-to here) that children can draw in and help them label their pictures of what they find on their nature walks.
Want even more ideas? Here are 25 fun summer writing activities for kids of all ages.