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Handwriting Help for Kids: a Game for Letter Formation (with Invisible Ink)!

Let's Play SECRET SPY!

The Goal: Learning to form letters is the first step toward handwriting. But learning letters is tricky. Why is this?

1- Kids must master different writing strokes to form letters: vertical lines, horizontal lines, circles, curves, diagonals.

2- Even when a child has mastered writing strokes, he or she must put them together in the correct sequence and with the right proportions. This is called "Letter Formation" - and with 26 upper case letters and 26 lower case letters, it's tough to master.

The good news is that we can help kids master "Letter Formation" by teaching letters using a "Multi-Sensory" approach. Namely, teach and practice letters in a manner that suits visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners. How?

Visual Approach: This method incorporates any and all visual cues to help kids master letters. In the "Handwriting Help for Kids" LEARN LETTERS workbook, a different story is taught for each letter, and visual cues are incorporated. Here are some examples of using visual cues to help kids learn letters.

Auditory Approach: This means we use speech to help a child remember how to form a letter. This approach is incorporated in the pictures above. Use any type of auditory cues! It can be letter stories as above, or any simple auditory sequence to remember letters.

Kinesthetic Approach: Practice, practice, practice correct letter formation! This is what the game, SECRET SPY, is all about! Kinesthetic learning means a child learns through doing. Now enough talk, let's play!


First: You will need paper (heavy-duty paper that will stand up to paint is best), a white crayon, and watercolor paint.

Second: Explain to your child that he or she is the SPY and a THIEF! has stolen from someone. How nasty! And he stole a lot of things.

Third: Pick a letter that you want to practice - this may be a new letter or a letter the child has trouble remembering and forming. Let's pick "h". Now, think of an item that starts with "h" ( hat). How many hats did the thief steal?

Fourth: Review how to form letter "h", then ask the child to write as many h's in white crayon on a piece of paper. Ensure that the child understands he must use the correct letter formation each time. Because the child cannot see the white crayon as he writes, he is truly reinforcing the "kinesthetic feel" of letter formation. For fun, ask the child to guess how many h's he or she wrote. You guess too!

Fifth: With watercolor paint, paint over the entire sheet. The "h" letters should become clear. These are all the hats the thief stole! Count how many. Now, move on to another letter and catch the thief again!

For more "Letter Stories" check out our Kindergarten workbook, LEARN LETTERS.

I hope this is fun for you and your little ones! If you enjoy this blog, follow me on Facebook for games, activities, and ideas to help kids master skills!

Lisa Marnell MS, OTR/L

#LetterFormation #HandwritingGames #HandwritingBasics

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