Alphabet Tracing Boards For Preschoolers Learning Letters

Most alphabet tracing boards for toddlers and preschoolers are not worth buying! Learn which alphabet tracing boards are best for 3 year olds learning letters at home.

What Is An Alphabet Tracing Board?

I'm guessing that you've stumbled upon this article because you're hoping that an alphabet tracing board will help your toddler or preschooler learn the ABCs at home.

There are a lot of options when it comes to buying an alphabet tracing board!

Most wooden alphabet tracing boards feature the entire alphabet and have grooves for tracing letters with a finger or using a wooden stick or tracing tool.

One version of an alphabet tracing board includes a magnetic pen to move metal beads along the letter pathways.

You can also opt for a chalkboard with the entire alphabet painted on it for your child to trace the letters with chalk.

Montessori alphabet boards feature individual letters made of sandpaper to trace with the fingers.

The style of letters on an alphabet tracing board could be uppercase or lowercase, and some versions feature cursive letters instead of print letters. Some alphabet tracing boards are even double sided, with lowercase letters on one side and uppercase letters on the reverse.

With so many options, it's easy to miss the big problem with most of these alphabet tracing boards.

Are Alphabet Tracing Boards Good For Learning Letters 

The Problem With Most Alphabet Tracing Boards for Preschoolers Learning Letters

If you're hoping that an alphabet tracing board will help your preschooler learn the ABCs and get ready for writing letters, you need to consider the size of the letters that will be traced. 

Any alphabet tracing board that features all a-z letters on it will be WAY TOO SMALL for a preschooler to trace correctly to build visual and muscle memory of each letter.

It isn’t until children are around 4-5 years old that they typically have the hand strength and coordination to properly hold the tracing tool that comes with some alphabet tracing boards. 

It's also unlikely that your toddler or preschooler is going to trace small letters correctly, especially if you’re not there to supervise your child. Learning the wrong pathway of a letter is not going to be helpful at all for later handwriting! 

Montessori Sandpaper Letters Are The Best Alphabet Tracing Boards for Preschoolers Learning Letters

A much better option is to invest in a set of Montessori sandpaper letters once your 3 year old child has developed some phonemic awareness and is ready to learn letters by associating speech sounds with letter symbols.

Montessori sandpaper letters feature lowercase cursive or print letters to prepare children for learning to write and read. Each letter is on its own individual board. The letters are LARGE. Some letters like this “k” are 3x5 inches. That's about 1/4 the size of an entire alphabet tracing board that has letters a-z!

Montessori sandpaper letters with language objects for learning letter sounds

Montessori sandpaper letters are ideal because your child needs to use movements that involve the whole arm to really develop muscle memory of the pathway for each letter.

Tracing each tactile letter and saying its sound will help your child develop muscular, visual and auditory memory of the lowercase alphabet letters. Ideally your child will trace each letter with the pointer and index fingers to help develop the tripod grip for holding a pencil correctly.

But there’s still no point buying a set of Montessori sandpaper letters if you don’t know how and when to use them!

That's why I created The Playful Path to Reading preschool phonics program. It's the proven strategy and resource bundle that includes the activities that you need to do before you start using Montessori sandpaper letters so that your child understands that letters represent speech sounds. Then you'll be shown exactly how to use Montessori sandpaper letters the right way so that your builds muscle memory of what the speech sounds look like for later writing and reading. 

Playful Path to Reading - Montessori Reading Program for Teaching Phonics at Home

Quick Summary: Alphabet Tracing Boards For Preschoolers Learning Letters

It’s a bit of a mindset shift to invest in your own education rather than buying learning toys for your 2 or 3 year old child. But when you educate yourself about child development and how to best help your preschooler learn letters, then you’ll SAVE money by buying just the learning materials that you actually need.

Rather than wasting money on an alphabet tracing board with letters that are too small for a preschooler to trace correctly, you can invest in The Playful Path to Reading to get all the resources and training you'll need to help your child learn letter sounds.

Plus you'll learn exactly how to use Montessori sandpaper letters to help your child develop muscular, visual and auditory memory of the alphabet letters. This is going to make it so much easier for your child to learn phonics and start reading!

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