18 answers

Creative/Fun Ways to Teach 4 Yr Old How to Write Letters

Hello,

Im looking for some fun ways to keep my son interested in learning and practicing writing his letters/numbers etc. He knows his letters and the sounds they make but when it comes to practicing tracing them, he gets bored very quickly. I have workbooks for him that we do together to trace the letters etc. But how can I make this more enjoyable for him? Its like a chore for him at this point and I dont want him to feel that way about learning new things...but I also dont know how to make it fun. All I do is tell him what a great job he is doing etc.

Thanks

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I wouldn't push it too much. He might not have the fine motor skills yet. Instead, get him maze books, shape books, or connect the dots. They develop fine motor skills & are more fun. My 4 year old loves these other books, but is not much of a fan of the letter books. Every once in a while I try to get him to write a letter or two, but I don't push it much yet.

2 moms found this helpful

Sidewalk Chalk! My 4yo flat out refuses to even try to write his letters. However, I give him sidewalk chalk and that is all he wants to do.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Chopsticks, curved blocks and skywriting can make letters. Too, often times it is not yet developmentally appropriate. If you make it fun, it may hold his interest. But if he is not yet oriented in that direction and he is getting bored, DO NOT make it a chore. In fact, if he doesn't read, the symbols may not yet makes sense to him.

Can you imagine how boring it would be have to do those tracing workbooks. Arg. I know its very commonly used, but I'm sure children would rather draw or write in the dirt or sand.

Most important for writing is coordination. Playdough increases hand strength as do clothes pins and other manipulatives.

Attitude is everything. Be silly. And too, if you are praising him and he is not really doing a "good job" it is false praise and he knows it.

2 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't push it too much. He might not have the fine motor skills yet. Instead, get him maze books, shape books, or connect the dots. They develop fine motor skills & are more fun. My 4 year old loves these other books, but is not much of a fan of the letter books. Every once in a while I try to get him to write a letter or two, but I don't push it much yet.

2 moms found this helpful

You can do chocolate pudding...alphabet crackers...etc. But honestly, at this point - I wouldn't stress about it too much. With my oldest, we hardly did any academic prep before Kindergarten...the 6 months before kindergarten she went to preschool 2 days a week...but no heavy academics. We just had tons of fun together...went to the beach...hiking...picnics...crafts...etc. I'd touch on letters occasionally...nothing formal tho'. When she first started kindergarten...I wondered if she would be behind because of it. She's now just starting 2nd grade and reading beyond 4th grade reading level (I'm not sure how 'beyond'...the test only went up to the end of 4th grade level and she breezed through it). The one thing that we did a lot of...and I think that really helped her reading...we read a lot. Going to the library was one of our 'rituals' so to speak...and not just regular kid picture books...anything she was interested in...firefighters...whales...giant squid...how marbles are made...we researched it. Sometimes we'd do activities and projects based on what we researched...found recipes/crafts that went along with it...it was a blast...I can't even begin to tell you how much fun we had. I VERY firmly believe that at this point in time the absolute best thing you can do for a child's education...is to help them LOVE learning with a passion and find joy in discovery...etc. Nothing you teach him now could ever take the place of that.

I will now step down from my soapbox :).

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I didn't read other posts, so hope this isn't redundant, but make it fun and games not work:

Fill a shallow pan (like a jelly roll pan or cake pan) with a thin layer of corn meal, flour, or salt and have him trace letters or numbers and shake (with a lid of course) or smooth them out when he's ready to try a new letter or number.

Wikki stix are these wax coated strings that kids can mold into shapes...draw large numbers and letters (both caps and lower) on cards or regular 8x7 pieces of paper and have him trace them with the Wikki stix and make number and letter art.

Using Wikki Stix, play dough or crafter's clay have him make letter or number sculptures. If it's baking clay, you can even have him paint and decorate them and have a whole "zoo" or collection of the them.

You can buy stencils and have him practice tracing them. These are actually very good for helping kids learn to write them properly.

You can buy alphabet and number rubbing plates and have him make neat art with them.

Have him cut a letter of the day and pictures of things that start with that letter from magazines and make a collage with them.

Buy alphabet and numerical dice from a school supply store and have him practice writing whichever number or letter he rolls.

Buy a teacher's resource/curriculum book with begginer phonics games in them and try some of those.

My favorite online stores to find any of the supplies or books I've mentioned above are the following:

http://www.abctoyzonecatalog.com/
www.lakeshorelearning.com
www.discountschoolsupply.com

1 mom found this helpful

get an appliance box (or smaller - whatever he'll fit in) & let him go to town using markers! I knew my son could write his name....but he refused to do so. That box was our lifesaver!

If you're wanting practice time, then just write the ABCs on each "wall" & let him copy....not much different from how classrooms have ABC borders!

& kudos to SamIAm....the rainbow letters is exactly what I needed for one of my daycare girls....thanks!

1 mom found this helpful

You just have to call it "school time" and try to be consistent with the timing of it each day. My DIL works with my granddaughter every morning right after breakfast. They spend an hour doing learning things. This type of structure will be good for him, he'll know that every morning you have learning time before play time. Play time is the goal to get him through the hour of learning time. You can make it fun with flash cards and rewards, whatever works. If he sees you get frustrated he will get frustrated. Mom has to have patience even when it's boring. Kids learn patience from seeing us able to display it ourselves.
I used to let my boys write with markers on the white fridge, they loved that, and it came off with windex as long as you dont use indelibles. Chalk boards are fun too.

1 mom found this helpful

Sidewalk Chalk! My 4yo flat out refuses to even try to write his letters. However, I give him sidewalk chalk and that is all he wants to do.

1 mom found this helpful

My sons teacher suggested doing the rainbow letters - meaning start with Red and make an "a" and then take Green and trace over the "a" again and then purple and yellow and orange. You end up with a colorful "a" and more fun then just using a pencil.

Good luck!

I 2nd the chalk idea. Also we used those bath crayons in the shower. My kids LOVED practicing their stuff in the shower and drawing all over the walls.

1 mom found this helpful

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