I recently went to an “Arty Party” in which the teacher gave us step-by-step instructions on creating an original piece of artwork that she showed us in advance. Throughout the party, the instructor came around and guided us in our progress to ensure that we were on the right track. Before the party, there was no way I could have created the landscape of a sunset on a horizon with trees near and far, but now that I have experienced the process with the steps modeled for me, I think I could re-create it if you asked me to.
I share this story because it is the same for children when it comes to letter, number, and shape formation. They need a visual representation of what it will look like as an end result, and then they need the steps modeled for them, and guidance to walk them through it.
Today, I am going to attach a link I have made for your child to trace the ABC’s, but I don’t want you to give them a pen and walk away wishing them well. I want you to sit down with them, talk about each letter, make it first, and then allow them to trace it. I actually encourage moms and dads to write on a “my turn, your turn” basis with their children so you can model step-by-step what you are doing and they can Xerox what you have just done.
If you want you can search for letter formation poems, songs, and chants online but if you don’t want to overwhelm yourself in a cyber-search simply read the following for your own understandings and then get busy.
Each letter falls into a height scale. Some letters are tall (“touching the sky”), some letters are short (“only reaching the picket fence”), and some have roots (“going underground”).
Each letter has a different shape. Some letters have curvy lines, some letters have straight lines, and some letters have both.
Start at the top when making your letters and “pull down”.
So, to put that all together, if you make an A you would start at the top, pull down straight, go back to the top and pull down the other way, and then draw a line straight across at the picket fence.
You can explain the process however you would like, being as creative or direct as you would like, but try to incorporate some of the formation concepts listed above because it will help your little one learn the letters in their appropriate proportions.