Image by: Nagesh Jayaraman

Letter Trace

Age Range
4-7 yrs
Setup Time
5-10 minutes!
Setup Location

Young children learn best when they are taught using a multisensory approach, involving as many senses as possible. Additionally, allowing children to practice tracing letters without the pressure of more permanent writing utensils such as markers and crayons, has its benefits. If he makes a mistake, he can simply erase what he wrote and try again.

“Ideally, the first materials used are not markers and pencils but materials that allow children to strengthen the muscles in their hands needed to properly hold writing implements," says Mara Guckian, early childhood specialist and managing editor for Teacher Created Resources. "We add a tactile (kinesthetic) component when we practice shaping the letters with different materials. Shaping letters with dough, tracing them on textured paper cutouts, and writing in the sand or salt trays all help children internalize the shape of the letter, while developing their fine motor skills.”

Try out this hands-on letter formation and name writing activities for your child and he will have all the skills he needs as a beginning writer!


  1. Cut up pieces of various thick watercolor paper to make alphabet cards. Paint all of the letters of the alphabet in capital on one side, and lower case on the back

  2. In a plastic/ wooden tray put sand/ salt (enough to cover the base of the tray)

  3. Have your child 'copy' the alphabet, one at a time, tracing in the tray with his fingers or using a Q-tip

Disclaimer: This presents an overview of child development. It is important to keep in mind that the time frames presented are averages and some children may achieve various developmental milestones earlier or later than the average but still be within the normal range of development. This information is presented to help parents understand, at a high level, what to expect from their child. Any questions/concerns you may have about your child’s development should be shared with your doctor.