I have a very keen artist on my hands, she loves to put pen to paper, and has pretty good fine motor control.
Buuuuut, we are having some issues with letter formation. She can absolutely recreate letters on her paper and they are perfectly legible - but some of them are coming together in the wrong direction. Bottom to top, right to left and some with weird meet-in-the-middle type techniques.
Why is this a problem? Well It's not a big problem, the important thing is that she is interested and exploring but it is a bad habit that I'm trying to help her correct by going back to basics and breaking out the Sandpaper Letters.
Sandpaper letters are a Montessori material that are basically just a piece of card or wood that have a letter printed on them. Said letter is made out of sandpaper so when you run your finger along it and it feels rough.
This is how three-year-olds learn their sounds in a Montessori classroom. A teacher sits with them and teaches which sound is which (just phonetics, so you only say the sound each letter makes, not the name of it) and the little one traces over it with their finger.
The next step is to get a tray (or the lid of a shoebox) and fill it with sand or salt and get them to write the letter in it. Whatever wonky shape they make is good, they always get a big smile and a well done.
This is an activity that we don't really do anymore, she is a bit past it and Squawk is a bit too little but it came in really handy this week just to revisit some letters and be reminded of how they should be formed. And she did it perfectly, traced them, drew them in sand and copied them out exactly. Then she went straight back to the way she 'likes' to write them. Oh well. Montessori materials are the best, but this four-year-old has an iron will.