Once your child begins to show a dominant hand, assist your child with holding markers, crayons, and pencils in a comfortable grip (using the thumb and index finger, then resting the pencil on the third finger). Pencil grips can be placed on the pencil and can be helpful in teaching your child the proper pencil grip.
Scribbling is the first step in writing. Encourage your child to make you a picture and let them scribble.
Have your child practice tracing dotted lines that are vertical and horizontal. Once your child can trace vertical lines and horizontal lines, then try having your child trace squares, slanted lines, half circles, circles, etc.
Use wide-lined paper when trying to teach a child to form letters. Without the line as a structured point of reference, children tend to write all over the paper. Children learning to write will usually have inconsistencies in the size of the letters and the spacing of letters.
Start off teaching the letters of the alphabet the have straight lines (for example, "L", "T", "H" "I", "E", "F"). Initially have your child trace the letters, and then try to have your child copy each letter.
Once your child has mastered several of the straight lined letters, then try letters with slanted lines ("Z", "A", "K", "Y", "X", "W", "V", "M", "N"). Then introduce the remainder of the alphabet with the curved lines.
Reversing letters is common among young children. Many times children will reverse letters up through the end of 2nd grade. One way to help your child remember how to write the lower case letters correctly is to use mnemonic techniques. For example, the letter "b" is a man with a big belly in front, and the letter "d" is a skinny man with a dog following behind him. The funnier you can make the mnemonic the better your child will remember that "b" is for belly and "d" is for "dog". Use the letter/sound association and your imagination to make writing a fun activity.
You can also make writing fun by using wax paper and placing chocolate pudding on it. Have your child use their finger to form various letters of the alphabet in the pudding You can also use whipping cream or other edible items like icing. Another tactile aid is to cut out letters of the alphabet from sandpaper and have your child trace the letters with their finger.
Correct sequence of letters to form words is always an exciting time for your child. Begin by having your child try to trace his/her first name, then try coping the letters, and finally try it from memory.
Have your child start a journal. Do not try to correct his/her spelling or letter formation at the beginning. At first you want your child to learn to express himself/herself in writing and feel good about it. Have your child read the sentence or story back to you, and provide praise as a reinforcement.
Encourage your child to write "Thank you" notes to friends and relatives. Emphasize only the Capital letter at the beginning of a sentence and a period at the end of the sentence.
Practice spelling words by making lists of vocabulary words in categories (for example, animals, colors, sports, or whatever subject area interests your child).
Provide written expression practice with the use of story starters. To encourage your child to write more, you might write the opening sentence and your child writes the next. Then you write another sentence and then your child adds another sentence and so on until the story ends.