My daughter is nearly three and lately she has shown an increased interest in writing. She has been holding a pencil and pretending to write for ages, but now she she is able to identify letters and attempts to draw them. I wanted to find a way to help her practice writing letters.
I prefer a less is more method and did not want to purchase or print paper letter tracing sheets that would just end up in the garbage. Through some research I found some very nice letter tracing chalkboards and thought to myself, “I can make those!” I was able to find all of the materials on sale and for less than $10USD and I will be able to make several chalkboards. In this post I will share with you how I made an “ABC” letter tracing board.
- Chalkboard – I couldn’t find the size I wanted, but I found 12in x 16in (30.48cm x 40.64cm) chalkboard placemats
- Permanent paint pen- You can use any color. I used white.
- Pencil- I used my toddler’s pencil, but I recommend something with a finer tip.
- Decide how many rows of letters you need. My board features the English alphabet consisting of 26 letters, so I determined that I would need 4 rows with 5 letters and one row with 6 letters.
- Use your ruler and pencil to draw straight lines across the board so that you have a guide to write your letters in a straight line. I drew 4 lines approximately every 3 inches (7.62cm). I also drew gridlines vertically to help me space my letters apart in equal distances. This is optional. If you can space your letters evenly, you don’t need to do this. I can’t, so I drew 4 lines vertically every 2.25 inches (5.72cm).
- Next, use your pencil to draw your letters. I drew 5 letters on each line, except one line, which had 6. I drew both uppercase and lowercase letters. TIP: If you mess up, just wipe it away with a damp towel. Don’t use the eraser.
- Finally, use your paint pen to make your tracing lines on top of the letters that you just drew. I did dots because I don’t have a steady hand and it is hard to mess up a dot! You can do dash lines instead if you chose and have a steadier hand than I do. TIP: If you mess up with the paint pen use a q-tip dipped in nail polish remover to remove the paint, but use sparingly.
- Let your board dry overnight. If you have a lot of lead left on your board from your grid lines, like I did, wipe away with a damp towel after the paint dries completely.
- Your board is ready to use!
This board was super easy to make and I finished the whole thing in about thirty minutes, minus the drying time. After realizing how easy it was, I plan to make a numbers practice board and a board so my daughter can learn to write her name.
Let me know if you try out this DIY and what kind of board you make! If your child is past the writing stage, check out this post on encouraging your children to read.