With plenty of paper and pencils available, your little one will be encouraged to practice.

How to Teach Your Child to Write the Alphabet

by Candace Webb

If your child is already scribbling on paper and telling you what he "wrote" or asking you what letters make up his name, he's probably ready to learn to write the alphabet. Make the lessons fun and playful, and soon he'll be penning notes to his friends and signing his own name to family greeting cards with pride.

Encourage doodling. Writing involves fine motor skills and coordination, so have your child use pencils, markers and crayons to doodle on paper and learn to control the writing instruments. Help him figure out how much pressure to use and what angle to hold his writing utensil to make the marks he wants on the paper.

Fill a shallow rectangular or square baking dish with slightly moist sand. Pack it down in the container. Use a Popsicle stick to write a letter in the sand. Ask your child to trace it with his finger and try to write the same letter in the sand next to yours. Sand is a great teaching tool because it can be leveled out as often as needed to continue the exercise.

Finger-paint the letters. Use thick paint to cover a piece of construction paper. Have your little one draw letters in the paint with his finger. If the paint color is a sharp contrast to the paper color, the letter will boldly appear. Allow it to dry and hang up the finished product to showcase his progress over the coming week.

Trace the letters onto a blank piece of paper. Place the tracing paper over the letters you've drawn and secure it on the backside of the paper with tape. Have him trace the letters using crayons and pencils to get used to using different writing instruments.

Provide plenty of lined writing paper that has a broken line in the middle of each row so he knows how big to make each capital letter and lowercase letter. Place paper, crayons and pencils in an easily accessible place so he can practice at any time.

Use shaving cream, which allows children's fingers to easily swipe letter shapes through the foam and leaves a trail. Spray the cream onto a hard surface, such as a table or a piece of plastic. Test with a small dot at first to be sure the shaving cream won't damage the table's finish.

Items you will need

  • Sand
  • Paints
  • Construction paper
  • Shallow dishes
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Tracing paper


  • Start by teaching your little one to write his name so that he can label his belongings and understand the purpose of knowing how to write the alphabet.
  • Write lots of different words on paper or cards and attach photos that depict the word. For example, write "DOG" and attach a photo of a dog, perhaps cutting one out of a magazine. Leave it near your child's coloring supplies so he can associate the word with the object as he practices his writing skills.


  • Don't pressure him to "practice until perfect." Praise his efforts and encourage progress so he will keep trying.

About the Author

Candace Webb has been writing professionally since 1989. She has worked as a full-time journalist as well as contributed to metropolitan newspapers including the "Tennessean." She has also worked on staff as an associate editor at the "Nashville Parent" magazine. Webb holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in business from San Jose State University.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images