Ever wonder how to help toddlers and preschoolers with letter formation without holding a pencil? This is it. Writing letters with race cars encourages letter recognition along with improving fine motor strength. This preschool activity incorporates learning skills with movement and is a huge win with under 3 minutes of prep time.
RELATED: Preschool activities are my JAM! Yep, I think about them in my sleep. Check out all my ideas to help get play started in your home.
Step one for writing letters
Before I ask my preschooler to write a letter, we will pay close attention to what letters look like.
- Letters have curves.
- Letters have straight lines.
- Letters have tunnels, dots, slants, sticks, tails, and crosses.
We don’t want to forget about introducing these important details to our early learners! We have plenty of time for play prompts to get comfortable and familiar with letters.
So here we are. Writing letters with race cars, and he is all about it.
RELATED: These are the best toys for learning the alphabet.
Writing prep for preschoolers
When it comes time for writing, my preschooler will be prepared with background knowledge.
This is a risk-free way to introduce letters in the alphabet and allow organic conversations about each letter over breakfast. – Hot tea is my staple as my young child plays.
He discovers. I wake up. Then he runs off to play. It’s a win for the two of us.
What I see my four-year-old doing as he plays
At first, my four-year-old studied letters and race cars.
I could see his mind wondering what this was all about.
Rather than swoop in and tell him what I intended him to do, I gave him time to study the activity.
Next, he began asking questions and making observations.
Why is there a W mom?
Oh, I see this green letter has a green car.
I am going to dive around the O first. Watch this, mom.
I am close enough to be included in casual conversation as he leads his learning through play.
RELATED: Looking for simple ideas to keep on hand? Check out our activity cards.
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Share these markers with your kids, or keep them for yourself. I am not one to judge; I like my own pack too.
White Paper Roll
This paper is a staple in our home. Place it on the table or a verticle surface. So many uses!
Hot Wheel Set of 10
This starter pack is for kids who enjoy Hot Wheels and race car tracks.
Setting up this letter activity
- Tape down the white paper and add some large, colorful letters.
- I like to keep this activity to about 6-8 letters to discuss each. Having all 26 on the paper could make the activity look messy, and my preschooler could be more tempted to walk away. A smaller amount at a time is more doable.
- Before writing the letter, I also check to ensure I have a race car to match my marker. I had to dig for that orange car!
RELATED: Have you played Splash the Alphabet? You must!
What I noticed as my preschooler played
As my four-year-old drove his car to outline each letter, he also made whooshing sounds and had his car do twists and turns in the air once finished.
We chatted about the letter’s name and whether the letter had curves or straights.
This is a great play prompt if you haven’t tried a morning activity with your preschooler or toddler!
Start with the letters in your child’s name. These letters are familiar to children, which makes them more invested. Children who feel connected to learning are more likely to take risks. Use these 15-name activities to get started.
We can step back when a child struggles to memorize letter names. Begin talking about the letters you notice in your environment and invite your child to play with the letters in their name. Take learning letters slow to honor your child’s pace. Meet your child at the stage they are by identifying a few letters at a time. Add more letters as your child develops. My online early education workshop will help you further understand the progression of preschool learning.
Preschool should be a time to create and explore new ideas. We want our early learners to transport objects, discover color combinations, sort, classify, design, connect, and investigate new ideas. We can do this with hands-on preschool activities – NOT worksheets. Use these preschool activity cards with your child.