Teaching handwriting is fundamental in kindergarten. I feel the responsibility (plus the additional pressure I put on myself) to teach proper posture & paper placement & pencil grip, and of course forming letters correctly. Thankfully there are a plethora of handwriting programs (Handwriting Without Tears) and supplemental activities which aid in this vital component of language arts. Today I will show you a tactile one I learned several years ago that's shown to be practical yet effective. Presenting . . . 



Young children need tactile learning because many learn through touching, feeling, moving, and experiencing (read more here). Ever notice why your baby shovels handfuls of sand into his or her mouth? Or why children touch everything - from gliding their hands on rails and poles, to picking up pennies, rocks or treasures they find off the ground - to our dismay and our horror. They're learning through touch. So to honor this beautiful process of learning, we made sand letters. Here's what we did:


MATERIALS: Colorful sand from here, glue, colorful sharpies, a pencil, white card stock paper, five cups (to place the sand), a plate, and pdf flashcards.


Note: When I wrote this post, I didn't include the downloadable flashcards. 

STEPS: 1. Download and print these free flashcards onto cardstock. 2. Cut out flashcards. 3. Trace the letter with glue, then carefully sprinkle the sand over the gluey letters. 


4. Shake off the excess sand, and let it dry. Malachi was able to do this activity independently after I showed him several examples. It's a solid kinesthetic and fine motor activity for young learners. And it's a messy one too!

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Once the letters are dry, use them as handwriting flash cards. Instruct children to start their letters at the top, then demonstrate how to correctly form the letter. Let them try it themselves, making sure to immediately write their letters using pencil and paper after tracing it with their finger. The touch of sand letters is a tactile, effective way of learning handwriting. Enjoy!