Big to small

Our 'Big to Small' activities help your child, before they can hold a pencil properly, to experience and build the important movement and shape pattern memories needed to form the letters.

Big to Small

Start big by using the whole body to move around shapes, or letters, you want your child to experience. Then over time as their bodies become stronger and more agile reduce the scale/size of the activities until eventually they are ready for the paper and pencil stage.

Your child will love these sort of activities as they see it as just playing and they get your undivided attention. You will enjoy it as you are sharing quality time with your child helping them to develop more than just their pre-handwriting patterns and/or letter formation ability but also their communication and social skills.

Big big

Set up an obstacle course which makes a child move in the same directions as the letter formation would, they could walk, run, scooter or cycle the route.

Very big

Draw the letter really big on the ground with chalk, make the start point and direction of travel clear and talk them through the walk of the letter, any turns, and which direction to take. Do this several times and then get the child to talk through themselves as they walk the route, perhaps even getting you to do the walk and telling you what to do. Try different ways of moving through the letter but always make sure they are moving in the right direction needed to correctly write the letter on paper.


Draw the letter in the air using large arm movements which cross the mid-line (vertical imaginary line that runs through the middle of the chest and belly button). Talk through the actions with them, stand next to them (on their left if they are right-handed or the right if left-handed) when doing this, rather than in front. This means they can watch and copy you easily if they get stuck or confused.

Getting smaller

With your finger draw the letter on their back while talking through the actions and then get them to repeat the activity on your back.

Smaller still

Try drawing the letter in different media such as sand (wet or dry), finger paints or corn flour mixed in a little water to form a kind of paste. Make sure they are forming the letters correctly; make the start point and direction clear for them. It can be a good idea to let them play freely first before trying the letter or shape formation exercise.

Even smaller

Now look to draw the letter on paper, letting them use whichever writing media they like - paint, crayon, chalk, felt tip or pencil as long as they are holding the writing tool appropriately (age dependant). Make the starting point and direction clear for them to start with then let them do it by themselves. Once they seem confident in forming the letter move to large gapped lined paper and pencil and reduce the line gaps as their skill improves.