Lowercase Letter Formation

Teaching kids to write lowercase letters can be a tricky task. Kids are exposed to different techniques depending on if they went to preschool or not. Some children pick up on lowercase letter formation easily and others struggle with reversals, placement on lines, and accurate letter formation. Today, I’ve got some tips and tricks to teach kids how to write lowercase letters and a tool that kids will love.

Lowercase letter formation activities

Lowercase Letter Formation

Teaching lowercase letter formation can be fun! We’ve shared quite a few ways to use creative activities in teaching kids to write letters here on the website. One such activity is using a sensory means with baked cotton swabs.

Like we talked about in yesterday’s play-based learning post, we know that adding movement, play, and a creative component to learning allows kids to engage with learning in a way that allows children to truly benefit from the learning experience.

Ways to work on lowercase letter formation

Using play and movement in working on letter formation takes just a little out of the box thinking. Here are some ways to teach letter formation with movement and play.

Use a sensory writing tray to teach lowercase letters.

Add movement! Add motor components to teaching letter formation as kids learn how to form big lines down, curves, and slanted lines. Letters can be acted out with letter formation rhymes or with themes.

Use a color by letter worksheet to work on fine motor skills and the letter discrimination skills needed for connecting a lowercase letter to an uppercase letter.

Build lowercase letters with play dough, slime, wikki stix, yarn, or paper strips/paper curves.

Trace and then re-trace the letters on a dry erase board. Rainbow writing offers several chances to practice letter formation.

Trace letters with a finger. Then use finger paint, pudding, dish soap, lotion, or cooking oil.

Want an easy, on-the-go tool for working on lowercase letter formation in a fun and engaging way? I’ve got a fun way to help…

Lowercase Letter Formation Kit

Muscle Movers are a tools for working on letter formation with a focus on movement, motor planning, gross motor skills, and play.

Heavy duty laminate cards with letters on one side, unique animals and activities on the other – the educational opportunities are endless.

Use the cards for letter recognition and getting the wiggles out, add Wikki stix or PlayDoh to allow your Little Learner to use their fine motor skills to form the letters on the card and finally practice with the included dry erase pen.

I Can Build Letters! Magnets (with a magnetic dry erase board)– This set includes hands on letter building with colorful lines and curves used to work on letter formation. These colorful, super-strong magnets allow help improve problem solving and fine motor skills while visually supporting letter formation. These can be used on any magnetic surface.

I Can Build Letters guide– Use this guide as a companion to the I Can Build Letters! Magnets. Your child can start by building the letters on top of each guide on a regular surface, progress to a magnetic surface and then ultimately build letter puzzles with the color builder guide

I Can Write Letters! Workbook– Little Learners start writing using Fundanoodle’s zip, zoom, and buzz terminology. With our grid paper, they learn how to keep their letter a consistent size and we introduce the letters from easiest to hardest to write to develop confidence. And each book includes a series of practice pages and a reward sticker system

The Fundanoodle Letter Fun Kits come in a colorful zippered tote for learning on the go!

More lowercase letter writing activities

Some of the smartest and most creative folks I know are the readers of The OT Toolbox. I asked readers to tell me sensory strategies they personally love and use to address sensory modulation. Scroll through the comments…you might just find some new sensory strategies that will work for you! Hopefully we can learn from one another!

Also, check out these other soy suggestions based on therapeutic development through play.

  1. Fine Motor Toys 
  2. Gross Motor Toys 
  3. Pencil Grasp Toys 
  4. Toys for Reluctant Writers
  5. Toys for Spatial Awareness 
  6. Toys for Visual Tracking 
  7. Toys for Sensory Play 
  8. Bilateral Coordination Toys 
  9. Games for Executive Functioning Skills 
  10. Toys and Tools to Improve Visual Perception 
  11. Toys to Help with Scissors Skills
  12. Toys for Attention and Focus 

273 thoughts on “Lowercase Letter Formation”

  1. I love using different sensory modalities for lowercase (and uppercase) letters, like shaving cream, wikisticks, sand paper etc.

  2. A fun way my students love to work on lowercase letters is with Q-tip watercolor painting rainbow letters. They will work on most any goal in OT when an art medium is used along the way..

  3. the LetterSchool app has been wonderful for a multi-sensory approach for letter formation, I also enjoy using clay boards, Osmo, play-doh, sand, etc.

  4. I love having students trace sandpaper letters with their fingers, then make them with Wikki stix, and then write. This way we can work on the same letter multiple times.

  5. I love to use a multi sensory approach, so writing in sand, shaving cream, chalk and chalkboard and then on to paper and pencil

  6. I love using a multi sensory approach and then a kinesthetic approach with the older kids where they print the practiced letter on a big chalkboard with eyes closed. They always seem to enjoy it.

  7. I enjoy using a large lazy eight mat I got many years ago from action Based Learning through a grant. Students can hippity hop, scooter, walk etc. the letters on the mat and then use dry erase boards or hand drawn lazy eights on the smarboard or dry erase board.

    I am open to new new ways especially sensory ways- I love sensory bins and materials!

    This kit looks like a great well rounded set especially if I am in a building with a small OT room.

  8. We love to work on letters using both our arms clasped together like a giant pencil, finger tracing on bumpy boards, using color cues, and my students favorite every time- smelly markers!

  9. I like to have them trace letters. Or I will ‘hard press’ the alphabet on a tablet and then have them retrace the image left on the next page.

  10. Large motor movements to begin with. Building the letters with multiple materials, lots of tracing with differ tools, including smelly markers.

  11. I love using Wikki Stix to form and feel letters, then practicing tracing/writing letters using color switcher markers- the kiddos love the “magical” markers and are so motivated to work on their letter formation using these.

  12. I have my kiddos play “roll a letter” where they roll a die and some letter blocks. Whatever they land on, they have to do to earn stars. The kids really like the game/competition aspect and earning the stars/stamps. I also have them write or trace on the boogie board, which is always fun!

  13. We’re still practicing tracing shapes! I highlight and she traces with a pen. She has dyspraxia so we’re also working on core strength.

  14. I have started to use invisible ink after writing practice as the students really need to make sure they are following the steps for correct letter formation because there is no feedback until they use the light to see if they wrote the letter correctly.

  15. I love to use different sensory mediums like wiki stix, play doh, and legos. It makes letters fun and engaging and provides a wide variety of play for our kiddos!

  16. The students really seem to enjoy incorporating large motor movement. like tracing in the air while they sing the steps of the letter formation.

  17. Using different materials to make letters: pom poms, play doh, rice, pasta, putty!
    Also playing memory game, using upper and lower case letters 🙂

  18. I have a chalk board in one of the rooms I work in. Students love to write on it, and we do a lot of “rainbow” writing.

  19. My favorite way to teach lower case letters are to incorporate letter stories that students learn by saying, looking, and tracing using variety if modalitiea.

  20. I teach three-year-olds so we use lots of sensory items-sand,sprinkles, ,etc. to draw the letters in and also use a variety of materials (feathers, blocks, legos, pom poms to trace or cover letter cutouts.

  21. Fun ways of practicing handwriting are forming letters with their body, tracing then in the air with their fingers, sensory approaches, drawing letters withchalk then erasing them by drawing over it with wet sponges.

  22. My beautiful therapy Kiddies and I love making letters into a fun, multi sensory learning experience. Whether that be with shaving cream, putty, sand paper, glitter, or integrated in a fine and gross motor obstacle course, we always work together to embrace learning with enjoyment.

  23. Writing on a big board, in the sand, with shaving foam, with watercolors.. whatever allows their fingers to work

  24. I am selectively using an iPad to attract the most reluctant learners, then taking screen shots of the tracing images from my iPad, pasting them onto a google doc page, and printing them out (in color, of course) to get them to trace on paper.

  25. I have used multiple items and techniques ranging from play dough, wiki stixs, beads, string tracing and more. There is so many ways to teach a child letters and sometimes they need a different approach using various materials and mediums

  26. I love using a wiggle pen. The kids love the pen and don’t mind working on formations. Best part is they’re still using a tool to reinforce motor planning.

  27. I love using music and movement as a precursor for practicing tracing the letters with your finger or a writing utensil!

  28. I used the house analogy. Then I made a large writing line out of tape on the floor of my classroom and we would make letters with our bodies and practice placing letters in the write place.

  29. Same answer as yesterdays giveaway with sensory…SHAVING CREAM! The kids love to use shaving cream to learn about the letters. That and do a dot markers to “stamp” out letter formation.

  30. We use plastic page protectors to make dry erase tracing boards. Slip a page inside with letters for tracing.

  31. I love using whole body movement to learn letters. I also love using manipulatives and multisensory approaches to create letters, like pipecleaner, playdough, sand

  32. Followed on Instagram! 🙂

    I like incorporating sensory materials and have my kids practice writing letters in sand, shaving cream, etc.!

  33. My students and I draw a “letter house” to practice the different sizes and placement of lowercase letters, with an upper floor, lower floor and basement and practice forming lowercase letters in the “house.”

  34. I love using wiki sticks to work on letter formation. Also love using shaving cream on a window or table!

  35. I love adding any movement we can !! Lots of sensory play for practicing letter sometimes the messier the better 🙂
    I have followed fundanoodle!! ?

  36. Using a chalkboard for writing/tracing them and also using paper on top of a textured background. Building with play-dough.

  37. We use Therapy Putty to form letters – rolling into small ‘snakes’ then snipping off pieces with scissors to make each letter.

  38. I like to have the students build it with objects, write using verbal pathways and trace raised letters with their fingers.

  39. I can’t say enough about FUNDANOODLE. They are innovative, multi sensory and a great teaching and therapy tool!

  40. I love Handwriting Without Tears! I also use multi-sensory approach such as writing in sensory bins, making letters with play dough/Wikki Stix/Legos.

  41. Repetition with a variety of media…chalk board, dry erase, play dough, shaving cream, etc. Finally ending with paper and pencil

  42. I love writing lists with kids! It’s real. We use markers crayons pencils putty, sand and the good ole white board!

  43. We play a game called Monster in a Cage. If the student forms the letter correctly and touching the lines appropriately then he/she gets to draw one piece of their monster (head, eyes, arms, etc). If the letter is not formed correctly then they make one line of a cage (box). The goal is to complete your monster before it is stuck inside the cage.

  44. I love to work on lowercase letter formation through sensory play such as sand, sandpaper letters, coolwhip, shaving cream, ect. This really keeps the kids engaged

  45. When working on writing, I often try to incorporate sensory input such as putty, playdoh, shaving cream, sky writing, sand, etc.

  46. playdoh, shaving cream, “erasing” letters with finger on whiteboard, writing on ziplock filled with fingerpaint, etc.

  47. I like using an old fashioned chalk board to write letters – you get larger arm movements and the tactile sensation of chalk against board.

  48. Hands on sensory builds in effective learning. We love shaving cream and play dough with scents added for the season.

  49. mutli-sensory play with shaving cream, play-doh, tactile letters to trace. I love using the wet, dry, try app as well

  50. Using a multi-sensory approach through use of rice, shaving cream, and big arm movements (like erasing on a big whiteboard).

  51. Imitation! I find kids have the easiest time when starting on a vertical surface and then transition to a tabletop 🙂

  52. HWT magic c letters. I also like to use a sensory item for this like shaving cream, gel bag, play dough, etc.

  53. I love using play-doh to build letters, then squish it with your finger or trace it before writing it on paper. Its also fun to write letters in sand, fake snow or other seasonal items with a paintbrush or fairy wand.

  54. Using various sensory/tactile modalities (sand, shaving cream, wiki stix, etc). Followed Fundanoodle on instagram 🙂

  55. I love to make lowercase letters using the “handwriting without tears” sequence of letter (like magic c letters) using playdough or tactile play of some sort.

  56. I like to use my legiliner stamper to help with sizing of lowercase letters. I also use a self check list that the kids use to check their own work. It helps when they are learning the letters if they have something they use and self check their work for mistakes, instead of me telling them they did something right or wrong.

  57. Shaving cream and play doh are great pre-writing activities! While working on handwriting, I find that the adapted highlighted paper helps to give my kiddos a visual cue for sizing of their writing.

  58. Using various sensory strategies, like making letters in shaving cream, sand, using a clay tray, Letter School iPad app are fun ways to work on lower case letter formation beyond paper and pencil.

  59. I love using chalk and a chalkboard. It provides increased sensory input, and is easy to create fading cues for tracing.

  60. I have lettered beanbags and incorporate sensory and movement into my learning by creating an obstacle course – Scooter board, GM movement, pick up a letter bean bag and write it onto a dry erase board at the end.

  61. I like to use a variety of activities that use the kiddos different sensations. For example, I do writing practice of a letter with wikki stix, a tracing app with a stylus, and then write with scented markers or scented pencils.

  62. My son struggled with his letter formation (and still does with some letters) because he had trigger thumb that prevented him using his right thumb properly from about the age of 2 till it was operated on just after his 4th birthday; he always enjoyed activities like painting letter or using large chalks on the patio to practice his lower case letters. My 4 yr old daughter loves joining dots to form letters.

  63. I also like to use shaving cream or fingerpaint. And I often find little toys (erasers, bells, plastic eggs, seasonal toys) to write the letters on, and have kids pick one from a basket. Then we write them in the shaving cream, on paper, on the wall, wipe off board, etc.

  64. I like to use a variety of items to make the letters and look for the letters such as legos, feathers, pompoms, stones, finger paint, pudding, yogurt, …

    Recently, I have written the letters on a chalkboard and given the students a q-tip or a paint brush to draw over the letter with water to “erase” or “hide” the letter. (We might pretend we are spies or artists so they will be careful to only draw or paint the water on the letters and not the rest of the board!)

  65. I like to use a sensory approach for letter formation with play doh, shaving cream, sand paper letters, wiki stiks, glow in the dark boards, etc. It’s fun and keeps the kids engaged! There are also a lot of fun apps to use with a stylus for the kids that are very technology motivated.

  66. I love to use various media (putty, playdoh, shaving cream, sandpaper, sand, etc) to work on formations in a fun way with varied input.

  67. I love using shaving cream, smelly markers, chalk boards, anything to break up the pencil/paper task into something slightly new!

  68. I use a multi-sensory approach for all handwriting. From sticker or gluing objects to form the letter, playdoh mats, salt trays, shaving cream writing, sensory bags (with paint, gel, etc) HWT, tracing, sidewalk chalk, window markers, you name it, and we have tried it!

  69. I like to use sensory input as a medium when working on handwriting. My favorite activities are drawing in shaving cream, finger painting, or painting using a cotton ball (really facilitates tripod grasp).

  70. My favorites are playdough, shaving cream, rice trays and sand trays. We use different items as writing utensils.

  71. I love to use play dough, Wiki sticks, and even tracing the letters using your finger after making the letters raised with glue. We also write the letters in the air with big arm movements.

  72. The kids really like forming letters on an app by L’Escapadou, but we also use playdoh and work step-by-step together using rainbow scratch paper!

  73. I like to do tracing activities and gradually remove more and more visual cues (i.e. start with dashes, then less dashes, then dots, less dots, etc.)

  74. I laminated these mats that have the alphabet and the kids make the letters with play doh, they really like that, as far as that translating into writing I don’t know if it is, my children don’t love writing. We also use the Kindle apps to trace, but I’m told those are not good because they don’t help with grasping pencils, I’m really lost.

  75. I love having hem squeeze glue on the line to form the letters then sprinkle sand on the letters to reinforce.

  76. I like using paint or hair gel in a zip lock bag as a fun surface to create letters with. Children can use their fingers to trace different shapes. You can also add cue lines on the bag using sharpie or tape. It’s fun and mess free! Especially good for sensory defensive kids

  77. Trace in the air—big muscle work, trace on big paper on the wall, trace in sand, and trace on paper—then write!

  78. I like to use multisensory methods for letter practice. We practice in shaving cream, finger painting, or inside the kinetic sand or beans sensory bins. Then we will transfer to using q-tips or dot paint before we start with crayons or markers

  79. I like to use a variety of sensory experiences for letter formation, for example: using sand, playdough, shaving cream on a cookie sheet, gel bags, wiki sticks, make shapes with your whole body!

  80. My more frequent go-to is using shaving cream, wikki stixs and magna doodle. If I’m switching it up frequently, kids are more apt to practice.

  81. Love using sensory modalities as well. Shaving cream in the bag, wkki sticks, tracing letters in sensory bins.

  82. My daughters love this game that I play with them. I’ll start by writing a letter on their backs and they have to guess what letter it was and we take turns doing the letters. They love this!

  83. I use multi sensory techniques for learning letters. Play dough, sand, shaving cream, cake sprinkles, and wiki sticks are among my favorites.

  84. I love building letters with wikistix on the wall and then writing on the wall for a great vertical surface!

    **Followed on Instagram

  85. I like to have the kids use their bodies to make letters. We also play a game where they have to feel for a letter in a bag and identify it using their hands only.

  86. Tracing letters with different things and making letters with play-doh. Also like making letters with toes tracing instead of fingers

  87. I like to have my students practice correct formation by tracing in salt for the sensory input, then trace in the air using large movements, and then write it on the dry erase board for repetition and a variety of sensory input.

  88. I love sidewalk chalk tic tac toe games where one player writes upper case letters and the other writes lower case letters. Two out of three games yields the winner, and each round means players get to switch off on who is writing upper or lower case. Also, Play Doh against a printed letter stencil on paper is great!

  89. I love hiding puzzle piece letters around the room to have the child find. Then have them put them in the puzzle and practice writing the letter.

  90. Right now we are using letter building and recognition while my active children are working on something else. We ask questions Can you find the letter a? Or can you build a letter out of the blocks. We trace with qtips, fingers and anything out of the ordinary that intrests the busy kiddos.

  91. I use a variety of sensory materials including, hair gel, shaving cream, sand, sandpaper, paint, etc. The kids love to write with a variety of media.

  92. I love yo play a game I call The Dice Game! The kids roll a dice and what ever number comes up is how many times they have to write the letter correctly. So they may roll a two but it takes the kiddo 5 times to write to get 2 correct!!

  93. I love to use Handwriting Without Tears, multisensory materials, Dexteria and having students make stories, Mad Libs, making cards and writing letters to each other.

  94. There are so many options, but what seems to work well is begin large and go small, begin with forming the letters on a large piece of newsprint taped to the door and use any media to write the letter multiple times, then work toward placing them in a smaller space. Making the letters in rainbow colors is fun and the child’s motor memory kicks in, doing the tasks multiple times.

  95. I love using playdough, bingo markers and do a dot pages (with pompoms). I also like to have the child stand on balance hedgehogs and draw out the letter in the air. Works on letter formation and balance/postural control too!

  96. Making sure they have a strong foundation set of knowing how to draw lines and shapes. Once they have that, they’re better able to put them together to form upper or lower case letters. Also using multisensory activities to draw the letters (i.e. building letters with play doh, drawing in sand or other material, etc) is also something I do.

  97. Multi sensory activities including tracing on a friends back, playdo, making yarn letters, Wikki sticks, and sand.

  98. I like using wikki stix, play doh, and a dry erase board, the kids love all of these. This kit looks amazing!

  99. Took a magnetic dry erase board and covered the bottom with chalkboard contact paper, this gives us multiple media to write and draw with.

  100. Rolling out snakes in playdough to form letters or making little balls and smashing them with one finger along the lines of the letters. We make gel bags and use wiki sticks too. So many great activities!

  101. I like to utilize a sensory approach to letters and make it hands on (shaving cream, wiki sticks,etc). The more hands on they can be the better motor planning.

  102. Anyway but on paper! Air writing, wiki stix, slime, Pom poms, body, shaving cream, magnets. So many fun ways!! This set looks amazing!!

  103. I love air writing, back writing, making letters using our whole bodies and of course the stand bys – putty, play doh, sand, sugar and Stamp and See Screens from HWT.

  104. I have a set of letter stamps that we use in playdoh to stamp and write. We also use letter beads in theraputty and letter magnets that are traceable. These materials are more open ended so can do a traceable matching board or match uppercase to lowercase, put them into sensory materials or putty and use them in fine motor activities.

  105. I have students do body/hand motions for letter sizing, like they stand, and I sing alphabet slowly and for each letter if tall-they raise hands up, if small, they put arms straight out in front, and if a fall letter, they have to squat. I show them a visual if they need it too. I find the movement input really helps them remember the letters.

  106. When working with students in schools, OT is often looked at as the ‘handwriting teacher’ even though we are not. Since handwriting is part of a student’s daily occupation, we do work with students on handwriting and it is great to find new ways to provide learning opportunities for students who work on this task for years. It can become kinda boring for students and therapists doing the same thing over and over.

  107. A multisensory approach all the way!! Getting off the paper and finding different ways to learn the letter makes the task more enjoyable which increases learning.

  108. I like to have students say the motor plan outloud while drawing the letter formation in a shallow container of salt. Then we practice on paper, repeating aloud. See it, say it, do it.

  109. Multi-sensory and kinesthetic approaches! Full body forming of the letters, making letters with flashlights in a darkened room 🙂

  110. I use many different ways to teach lowercase letters! Tracing, writing in the air, writing with your finger in sand, paint, making letter animals, wiki sticks…

  111. I use shaving cream and then we graduate to a chalkboard on the wall! I love having kids use teeny pieces of chalk while standing.

  112. The kids love a scooter board activity where they go “fishing” for letters – they catch 4 – 5 lower case letters and then come to the table to print them

  113. Salt trays are a big favorite with my students when it is time to practice letter formation! Especially around the holidays when we use colored or scented salt. Red salt with some peppermint– mmm the room smells like Chrismtas! 🙂

  114. Love to use chalk pieces on black construction paper making rainbow letters. Really working on creating an established motor plan.

  115. i love the size matters program, letter school, markers on small whiteboards,and large motor, stand on a sit and move use a baton and air write letters

  116. I have kids write letters in shaving cream and also trace letters in sand. I also like the tactile letters to trace.

  117. I like that they offer ways to build lower case letters. I use the HWT sticks for upper case letters, but miss that we don’t have the opportunity to do lower case letters.

  118. We build letters using different materials and media…lots of verbal and visual cues to go with the movement needed. I create stories to go with the letter to make the movement have a purpose.

  119. Tracing in foam soap. Or magnetic letter mix up: placing letters in a bowl (challenging letters, name, etc) and then picking out the letters, putting in order and writing

  120. For handwriting, I love using sensorimotor approach. Adding any type of texture like soap foam, playdoh, colorful sticks, or even window paint on a mirror always makes the writing more fun!

  121. I have a leapfrog tablet that shows them how to form the letter and then they have to do it on their own. Also shadow box worksheet paper.

  122. I love using a pom pom or q tip to erase letters while in tall kneeling, kneeling, prone on elbows, or on a therapy ball. Followed Fundanoodle on IG!

  123. I love using shaving cream and handwriting without tears multisensory activities to work on lowercase letter formation.

  124. Multi-sensory is the way to go! Any new fun ways to engage learners is always appreciated. Letter School is a great app. Songs and actions help students learn letter names-I like zoophonics.

  125. I use different ways to involve their senses. I like to trace with crayons, chalk, whiteboard, sand, shaving cream, and paintbrushes with water. I would love this Lowercase Letter Formation to give additional ways to have my students with disabilities learn to write letters.

  126. I love having kids learn to build and recognize letters, trace them made out of sandpaper or other sensory stimulating actiities with their fingers before getting them to try to form them with a pencil on paper.

  127. Building letters out of play dough, pipe cleaners or wiki stix. Also, offering a starting point for the letter and engaging in learning letter size (tall, short, descending or tail).

  128. Love using the Size Matters handwriting approach and supplementing with multi-sensory reinforcement (rainbow writing, sand trays, etc.)

  129. We like making letters with finger paint, or tracing sandpaper letters or working with letters made with a glue gun in our Kindergarten class.

  130. Multisensory approaches like playdough, wikisticks, shaving cream, driving cars over them written on the carpet with chalk….

  131. Letter bag obstacle courses. kids find an object in the bag and have to get through the obstacle course to then write the letter on the wall. the obstacle course can be shaped in the same way as the letter for added input!

  132. I love using shaving cream, rice, salt, etc to practice letters. Some kids just love the different textures

  133. I start with the students “signing in” when they arrive. It helps them have ownership. They begin with tracing and move on to copying and then independently writing.

  134. I like to work on lowercase letter formation by exploring writing in different textures (chalk on sidewalk, marker on paper, finger in sand or playdoh)

  135. Wikki stix and letter builders. I’m new to the school setting so scrolling through the comments has given me a lot of new ideas- thank you!

  136. A lot of my kiddos have loved using whiteboards, and also using other items like blocks, pipecleaners, pom poms, etc.

  137. This would be such a great tool for my patients! I love using shaving cream, playdoh or vertical surfaces having the child trace lowercase letters on a mirror or white board.

  138. I love using salt trays with either paint brushes or having students use their finger to form lower case letters. This would be a great tool for my fine motor preschool group!

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lowercase letter formation activities