In this post we’ll dive into 6 simple steps to how to teach tracing letters to your kids.
The first letters that my little kids learn to write are the ones that form her name.
She wanted to write her name on her every drawing masterpiece, her storybooks, and many other things.
At first, I just wrote lowercase letters for her to copy. But I saw that she struggled with those wiggly letters, so I switched to the uppercase letter of her name.
She can copy those letters better.
Teaching how to trace the letters can be fun and engaging. Let me share with you 6 simple, actionable steps you can implement immediately.
#1: Start with tracing simple lines and shapes
Before you go into teaching your kids to trace the letters, it’s essential for your little learners to gain a solid foundation to tracing basic lines and shapes.
These include tracing horizontal lines, vertical lines, and more.
As shown in the picture below, shapes are formed by several lines, and letters mimic the shapes’ formation.
Tracing lines and shapes helps your little ones with overall pencil control and grip.
You can use basic worksheets to help your kids practice tracing lines and shapes or tracing on the board on the wall.
#2: Start by tracing simple uppercase letters
Why uppercase letters?
It’s because most uppercase letters are made of straight horizontal, vertical, or diagonal lines – these lines are super easy for your kids’ young hand muscles to trace and follow.
This includes letters such as A, E, I, K, and O (a circle is among the first shape little kids doodle when they first get their hands on the crayons)
Later, when your kids get the hang of it, you might teach them to trace the tricky curvy uppercase letters such as C, G, P, or B.
#3. Demonstrate tracing letters
I remember assuming that tracing letters is simple and that if I handed the practice pages to my kids, they’d instantly know what to do with them.
But, unfortunately, that’s not the case, not even when there’s a guiding arrow included in the tracing letter pages.
So what I did was, every time we’ll do tracing activities, I’d first demonstrate to my kids how to do it.
I’d tell them while I trace the letters, “Follow the arrow; we start from the top and end at the bottom. Just follow the arrow.”
But don’t expect your kids to get it right away; you’ll have to repeat demonstrating tracing day in and day out, until they know how it should be done.
Why can’t we let them trace however they like?
We can, but at some point, it’d lag their letter-writing process in the near future.
#4. Use a multisensory approach
Children learn best when they get to do many kinds of hands-on activities.
Among others, let your kids trace with their fingers on the sandpaper letters.
Or use the play dough to form the letters.
Or trace on the cover of their favorite storybook using their fingers or dry-erase markers.
These are fun and help your little munchkins remember how to trace letters and letter formation.
#5. Reward them
Little kids love rewards, it helps motivate them to improve their skills and keep on practicing tracing.
The easiest kind of reward is to draw 5 stars on their letter tracing pages, or my kids love it when I draw smiling faces at their work.
Or you can pull out any fancy stickers and put them on their tracing pages.
#6. Practice makes perfect
Tracing letters requires much practice. So it’s imperative that you give your kids lots of opportunities to trace the letters.
While tracing on worksheets alone may bore your young students, you can vary the practice by having them trace on the board against the wall, tracing with a seasonal theme, or tracing with their favorite animal theme, as shown in the example below.
The more your little kids practice, the better they’ll be at it.
Just to recap to help you get the gist of how to teach tracing letters to your kids:
- Start with tracing basic lines and shapes
- Then start with tracing easy uppercase letters
- Demonstrate how to trace the letters
- Use multisensory approach
- Reward them
- Practice makes perfect
I hope this post helps give you a brief idea of how to teach your kids to trace the letters.