Cursive Writing Alphabet and Easy Order to Teach Cursive Letters

cursive letter order

In this post: Cursive writing order to teach letters of the alphabet, including Handwriting Without tears letter order for teaching cursive. The order that kids should learn the cursive alphabet, including print letter patterns that are directly transferable to cursive alphabet letters.

Cursive Writing Order




Learning to write the alphabet in cursive, writing one’s name in cursive, and writing words in cursive is something that many kids want to do around the second grade.  Cursive seems like a “grown up” style of communication that kids see adults or older students using and they try to make swoopy writing on their own.  Some children can be very motivated to learn to write the alphabet in cursive and use it in their written work.



Writing cursive letters in a group of similar pencil strokes is helpful for carryover of pencil control practice and letter formation. Here is more information on teaching groups of similar cursive letters together in a chunk, or cursive letter families.


Once kids have a start on cursive letter formation, they can practice in creative ways like on the window.


Other children who may not be exposed to cursive written work might have their first exposure to cursive in the classroom.  Still other students might be in a public or private classroom where cursive handwriting has been dropped from the curriculum.  These kids may need extra practice at home or might need to learn cursive handwriting from the very beginning.


But where to start when teaching kids (or adults!) the cursive writing alphabet and how to form words in cursive?  Read on for tips and strategies to get started on learning cursive letters.


Cursive writing alphabet and how to teach kids cursive handwriting with correct cursive letter order.


Cursive Writing Alphabet and Letter Order



We’ve touched on cursive handwriting in previous posts, include a small piece about starting to teach cursive letters.  This strategy will outline the alphabet and the letter order to make learning cursive more easy, based on learning letters in a developmental and progressive order.


RELATED READ: Practice letters in a Cursive Writing Journal.


There are print letter patterns that are directly transferable to cursive letters.


These are cursive letters that are formed similarly to their printed letter counterparts. The muscle movements of the hands that are used to form some printed letters are directly related to the same letters.  For this reason, it’s a good idea to start with these letters when learning the cursive writing alphabet.


The printed letter patterns that make up some letters will transfer directly to cursive, and when formed with a few subskills, cursive letter formation will easily follow (in most cases):

  • Left-to-right strokes
  • Good starting points
  • Direction of movement
  • Consistent stopping points
  • Control of downstrokes
  • Smooth rhythm
Given the subskills noted above, cursive letter formation will lend to more legible letter formation.  Often times, learning correct letter formation and motor practice will help with legibility and ease of cursive writing into a viable form of written communication.

 

When teaching the cursive alphabet, where to begin?

 

These letters have print patterns that are directly transferable to their cursive letters:

 
The following letters transfer directly to their cursive letter forms: c, a, d, g, o, q, i, t, u, j, e, l, f, h, p, n, and m.
 
Knowing that there are letters that use similar motor plans as a starting point, it is recommended to follow an order when teaching lowercase cursive letters:
 
c, a, d, g, q
i, t, p, u, w, j
e, l, f, h
k, r, s
b, o, v
m, n, y, x, z
 
Upper case cursive letters should be presented in a specific order as well:
A, C, O, U, V, W, X, Y, Z, P, R, B, H, K, N, M, I, J, E, L, I, J, Q


This letter order uses a combination of research-based strategies and focuses on movement based patterns as well as common letter formations, i.e. the way the letters connect to form words.
 
This upper case cursive letter order (or cursive capital letters) order teaches upper case letters that are similar to lower case letters first.  Always teach lower case cursive letters before upper case letters.
 
 
Cursive writing alphabet and how to teach kids cursive handwriting with correct cursive letter order.
Affiliate links are included below.
 
 

WOrk on Cursive Letter Order with these Ideas:

Here, you’ll find More creative ways to work on learning cursive writing:

Looking for more information on how to teach cursive writing? You’ll love our 31 day series on How to Teach Cursive Writing.  

The Handwriting Book breaks down the functional skill of handwriting into developmental areas. These include developmental progression of pre-writing strokes, fine motor skills, gross motor development, sensory considerations, and visual perceptual skills. Each section includes strategies and tips to improve these underlying areas.

  • Strategies to address letter and number formation and reversals
  • Ideas for combining handwriting and play
  • Activities to practice handwriting skills at home
  • Tips and strategies for the reluctant writer
  • Tips to improve pencil grip
  • Tips for sizing, spacing, and alignment with overall improved legibility

Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

Valentines Cursive Alphabet Uppercase and Lowercase Activity

Valentine uppercase and lowercase cursive activity

This post includes a FREE download of the Valentine Cursive Alphabet Uppercase and Lowercase printable. Start here with understanding how to teach cursive…then check out this post on which cursive letters to teach first. Then use the free cursive letters printable at the bottom of this page to work on cursive letter writing with a Valentine’s Day theme! This is a great activity to incorporate into your Valentines Day occupational therapy activities.

This cursive alphabet uppercase and lowercase activity has a Valentine's Day theme, but the cursive letter cards can be used any time to year to work on cursive handwriting.

Cursive Alphabet Upper Case and Lower Case Activity

Because of the importance of cursive writing, the OT Toolbox has included cursive alphabet worksheets in it’s “Toolbox”.  This uppercase and lowercase Valentines printable alphabet PDF is a great learning tool for beginning to recognize the letters.

In recent years there has been a lot of back and forth opinions about the validity and necessity of writing cursive.  Some of the people creating school curricula feel this is an old language since it is not used in books any more, and most written expression is done on keyboards.  While there is the argument that people only need cursive for signing their signature, and it should be abolished, cursive is so much more important than just a signature on a page. This article from the New York Times debates reasons to reinstate cursive writing in schools:

Students with learning differences such as dyslexia greatly benefit from learning cursive. Cursive letters such as “b and d” are different from manuscript, therefore easier to decipher. 

Flowing letters connected together in cursive are often easier for young learners to write. There are fewer diagonals, a definite direction of the letters eliminating bottom to top formation, and not having to keep stopping and starting can be a very efficient form of written expression. This post on cursive letter families is helpful in breaking down letters into formation patterns.

The first stage to learning something new is being able to identify before being able to reproduce it. These upper and lowercase cursive alphabet worksheets for kids or other learners, are a great addition to your cursive curriculum. The OT Toolbox archives has an informative post on teaching cursive writing.

What better way to teach a new skill than to tie it to an adorable Valentine theme? Learners are more compliant when there is a motivating fun theme. While these uppercase and lowercase alphabet worksheets can be introduced around Valentine’s day, they are versatile enough to be used year round. YouTube has a great video highlighting the History (and importance) of Cursive Writing

How can I use these cursive alphabet upper and lowercase letter printable cards?

Incorporate this cursive letters printable into occupational therapy sessions to work on individualized goals no matter what level or skills the learner is working to address:

  • Ask learners to write the letters as they match them
  • Higher level learners can write down, or describe the directions to the game
  • Print these on colored paper for more visual appeal or contrast, color the pictures, or laminate the pages to make these more sturdy and reusable
  • Learners can explore other games they could make using these Valentine match cards (perhaps hiding the letters around the room and having learners run around collecting them, or creating a “memory” game out of these upper and lowercase writing cards)
  • Practice scissor skills by cutting these cards apart
  • Change the weight of the paper – heavier paper is easier to handle
  • Make these into tracing cards with or without laminating them.
  • Research and talk about the importance of cursive writing, and have a debate
  • Project onto a smartboard for a group task using a pointer to push the pieces together
  • Enlarge or shrink this task to change the degree of difficulty
  • Turn it into a gross motor task, sensory activity, following directions game, or combination of all of these
  • Use this task durng more than one session by adding cursive practice, letter recognition, copying from a model, or putting letters together to make words.

Skilled OT Observations with this Cursive Activity

When working on this Valentine upper and lowercase cursive matching activity, there are several observations that can be  made: 

  • Can your learner scan the pages to identify the correct letters?  Are they recognizing what they are matching or merely matching shapes? Can they match items that are related but not the same (form constancy)?
  • How many items can your learner correctly match?
  • Can your learner correctly hold and manipulate the scissors? How much assistance do they need to grip the scissors and cut on the lines?
  • Can your student continue to hold the scissors while trying to manipulate the paper?
  • How many times do you need to repeat the directions so your learner can follow them?
  • How many reminders does your learner need while doing this activity?
  • Can they stay on task during this upper and lowercase cursive matching task?

As with this Cursive Alphabet Uppercase Lowercase Valentine Worksheet, or any of the worksheets and activities on the OT Toolbox, you can teach one or ten different skills while teaching them. Working on letter recognition? Skip the cutting and coloring section.  Focusing on visual perception? Don’t have students write the letters after matching the cards. Beginning cursive learners? Have a letter page example with all of the letters as a reference. 

You may decide you are focusing your treatment on task completion or compliance with a non preferred task. Therefore your observations would lean more toward behaviors and reactions, than written expression.

Make several observations while your learners are working on these cursive letter matching pages.  See how you might need to grade or modify the task for your next group of learners.  Decide what works, and what does not work using this set of cards. 

Use the other Valentine’s printables available on the OT Toolbox to create an impressive lesson plan.  Here is an entire Valentine Fine Motor Kit! 

Whether you are searching for Valentines Slide Decks, posts highlighting Valentines Day ideas, or anything you want to build into your lesson plan, type your ideas into the search bar and tons of activities, posts, free printables, and kits will be available to you. 

Whenever you get the urge to jump on the bandwagon to eliminate cursive, just take a look at the handwritten notes from your grandmother, or other elderly people.  It is simply beautiful penmanship and should not be lost in favor of typing.

Cursive – it’s more than just a signature!

Free Upper Case and Lowercase Cursive Letters Printable

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    Victoria Wood, OTR/L

    Victoria Wood

    Victoria Wood, OTR/L has been providing Occupational Therapy treatment in pediatrics for more than 25 years. She has practiced in hospital settings (inpatient, outpatient, NICU, PICU), school systems, and outpatient clinics in several states. She has treated hundreds of children with various sensory processing dysfunction in the areas of behavior, gross/fine motor skills, social skills and self-care. Ms. Wood has also been a featured speaker at seminars, webinars, and school staff development training. She is the author of Seeing your Home and Community with Sensory Eyes.

    Cursive Handwriting Letter Families

    cursive letter families

    This post is a comprehensive resource on cursive handwriting letter families. Did you know that teaching cursive letters in a series of similar letters can be helpful for kids who are just learning letter formation? Using groups of letters that are formed similarly makes them a letter family. So, when we use the motor plan required to form a cursive letter, we can help learners retain and use that cursive formation appropriately for legible cursive writing. Let’s break down cursive letter families!

    What are Letter Families

    Letter families are related letters. Just like a family, letter families contain similar traits. These similarities might include the same starting point when forming a letter, similar lines that make up the letter, or other traits that make the letters easy to group. Letter families might include these traits:

    • Same starting point
    • Same initial pencil movement
    • Same connecting lines or ending pencil strokes
    • Similar movements within the letter, like bumps, slants, re-trace, etc.

    When it comes to cursive letter families, this is a powerful teaching technique because we can break down the task of learning all uppercase and lower case cursive letters as we break down the task into chunks.

    Teaching cursive letters in chunks can be helpful because many cursive letters are similar in formation either in starting lines or with components. Consider a lower case cursive letter “i”. The way the beginning line curves up and stops is similar to the start of a lower case cursive letter “t”.  

    Letters like m, n, v, x, y, and z all start with a bump curve that starts from the baseline and curves up in an arch toward the middle line. 

    Letters like e, l, h, b, f, and k all start with a loop.   

    There are similarities in upper and lowercase cursive letters that indicate a need to teach letters in an order that takes cursive letter families into account.

    Why use letter families to teach cursive

    Cursive families and grouping letters by lines is an occupational therapy strategy that uses motor planning, muscle memory, and fine motor development to impact legible cursive writing.

    Tricks to help with teaching cursive handwriting can make all the difference when it comes to carryover and legibility. Below, you will find information about teaching cursive handwriting and letters that are similar and should be taught together in groups for ease of learning.

    You’ll discover more about cursive letter families below as well as more cursive writing strategies and tools here and in the How to Teach Cursive Writing series.

    You can find all of the tips and strategies for teaching cursive handwriting under the handwriting tab up above.

    Cursive letters fit into families because there are similarities in how letters are formed that can help kids learn to write in cursive.

     
     

    Lowercase Cursive Letter Families

    Lowercase cursive handwriting letter families are broken down by the writing strokes that start the letter. We’ve broken these letter groups into these types of starting strokes:
    1. Wave Letters
    2. Spike Letters
    3. Loop Letters
    4. Bump Letters
    5. Slant Letters
    6. Tow Truck Letters (based on the ending strokes or connecting strokes)

    You can see that when we break cursive letters down into groups, it makes it easier for learners to learn and carryover the motor plan to form the letter because the letters that start similarly use the same small muscle movements.

    Wave Letter Family

    Wave letters are lowercase cursive letters that curve up from the baseline with a curve that follows the outside and left side of a circle. The curve traces back on itself to create a curve shape. Read here about specific strategies to teach Wave Letters.

    Wave letters include lowercase cursive: c, a, d, g, q, and o.

     

    Spike Letter Family 

    Spike Letters are are lowercase cursive letters that curve up from the baseline with an inverted curve that follows the underside and right side of a circle. The curve traces back on itself for the strait portion of the letter, but then pulls away to either continue with additional components of the letter or to connect to subsequent letters. 
     
    Spike letters include lowercase cursive: i, t, u, w, p, and j.
     

    Loop Letter Family

    Loop letters are lowercase cursive letters that begin with a loop from the baseline. These can be easy to learn at first : cursive e and cursive f are simple motor plans. But, the remaining loop letters contain re-traced lines, inverted lines that move back toward the middle line and then in the opposite direction (cursive k), and multi-loops (cursive f). 
     
    Loop letters include: e, l, h b, k, and f.
     

    Bump Letter Family

     
    Bump letters are lowercase cursive letters that start from the baseline with a low curve on a 45 degree angle that peaks with a curved “bump” at the middle line.
     
    Bump letters include: n, m, v, x, y, and z.
     

    Slant Letter Family

    Slant letters are lowercase cursive letters that start from the baseline and slant at a 45 degree angle without a curved portion at the direction change. 
     
    Slant letters include: s and r.
     

    Tow Truck Letter Family

    Tow truck letters use terminology from the Handwriting Without Tears program and refers to the way the letter connects to another letter.
     
    Another way to distinguish cursive letters even further is to identify tow truck letters. This term uses a verbal prompt from the Learning Without Tears handwriting program which identifies letters with a high connection point. The “tow truck letters” connect to subsequent letters in a word with a connector at the middle line rather than the baseline.
     
    Tow Truck Letters include: o, v, w, and b.
     

    Uppercase Cursive Letter Families

    Upper case cursive letters can be hard to learn. Why? Because uppercase letters are not often used, especially as often as their lowercase relatives. An uppercase K may not be used often and it is easy to forget which way to make the starting lines or the mid-loops. 
     
    We’ll break down uppercase cursive letters into groups, just like we did with the lowercase letters. 
     
    Uppercase cursive letter families are broken down by starting point.
     

    Right Curve Start Upper Case Cursive Letters

    Right-Start Letters are uppercase cursive letters that start at the top line with a counter clockwise (or right curve) motion from the top line down to the baseline. 
     
    Right Curve Start Letters include: A, C, O, Q, and E (Uppercase cursive letter E starts with a right curve to the middle line.)
     

    Rocker Start Upper Case Cursive Letters

    Rocker-Start uppercase cursive letters are those upper case letters that start with a small rocker motion to the top line.
     
    Rocker start letters include: B, R, P, and L. 
     

    Down Stroke Start Letters

    Down-Stroke upper case cursive letters are uppercase cursive letters that start at the top line and move down.
     
    Down stroke start letters include: D, T, F, U, Y, V, and W.
     

    Left Loop Start Letters

    Left-Loop start letters are uppercase cursive letters that begin with a small loop start at the top left side of the letter. 
     
    Left loop start letters include: H, K, M, N, X, and W.
     

    Slant Start Upper Case Cursive Letters

    Slant start cursive are uppercase cursive letters that start at the baseline and slant up to the top line at a 45 degree angle. 
     
    Slant start letters include: G and S.
     

    Left Curve Up Start Cursive Upper Case

    Left Curve Up start letters are uppercase cursive letters start at the baseline and curve up to the left side. They start of the opposite side than the rest of the upper case cursives. This can be a difficult start for some learners, especially if these letters are not used often.
     
    Left curve up start letters include: I and J.
     

    Other Upper Case Cursive

    Uppercase cursive letter Z doesn’t seem to fit into any of these categories! That is to say: all of these cursive letter starts depend on the font. Occupational therapy practitioners tend to teach simple writing strokes to reduce the motor plan and to improve carryover. So, it is possible to group Z into another group, including the Slant Start Letters or Left Loop Start Letters.

     
     

    What order to teach cursive Letter families?

    When it comes down to it, having a specific order of uppercase and lowercase cursive letters doesn’t matter hugely. It is much more important to teach letters in their family chunks for ease. That being said, you do need to start somewhere when it comes to starting to teach cursive letters. So where to begin?

    It’s also a great idea to teach letters that are similar in look or formation to their printed counterpart.  

    There are so many different cursive letter curriculum out there without a clear letter sequence so it’s truly up to the instructor. Consider the benefits of teaching cursive letters in their letter family clusters. Here is one list of recommended cursive letter order for ease of instruction.    

    For explicit instruction, use the suggested order to teach cursive letters listed on this handout.

    How to Teach Cursive Families

    Teach Cursive Letter Families with Picture Frames!

    This post contains affiliate links.


    Use the cursive letter order descriptions to create family photos like we did. Use these in the classroom to teach kids about how the letters are related in formation. We used just a few items to create family photos for cursive letters:

    To make teaching cursive with a cursive letter family fun and “stick” try this memorable activity.

    Cut the cardstock to fit the frames. Add a small piece of tape to keep the cardstock in place. Write the groups of cursive letters on the cardstock. Fit the paper into the frames.

    Use these frames to teach common cursive letter families. Place them on desks or tables in the classroom or home and refer to cursive families during instruction.

    Cursive letters fit into families because there are similarities in how letters are formed that can help kids learn to write in cursive.

      Need help with the underlying skills needed for handwriting? Start here on our Handwriting resources page.  

    The Handwriting Book is a comprehensive resource created by experienced pediatric OTs and PTs.

    The Handwriting Book covers everything you need to know about handwriting, guided by development and focused on function. This digital resource is is the ultimate resource for tips, strategies, suggestions, and information to support handwriting development in kids.

    The Handwriting Book breaks down the functional skill of handwriting into developmental areas. These include developmental progression of pre-writing strokes, fine motor skills, gross motor development, sensory considerations, and visual perceptual skills. Each section includes strategies and tips to improve these underlying areas.

    • Strategies to address letter and number formation and reversals
    • Ideas for combining handwriting and play
    • Activities to practice handwriting skills at home
    • Tips and strategies for the reluctant writer
    • Tips to improve pencil grip
    • Tips for sizing, spacing, and alignment with overall improved legibility

    Click here to grab your copy of The Handwriting Book today.

    Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

    Cursive Writing for Beginners

    We have a lot of cursive writing posts here on The OT Toolbox. Check out the search bar and you’ll see tips for how to teach cursive writing, help with cursive writing speed, and even cursive letter order. There is a lot that goes into teaching cursive writing to kids. It doesn’t need to be complicated, though. Here, you will find a plan starting at the beginning when teaching cursive. This is everything you need to know about cursive writing for beginners.

    Use these tips to teach cursive when working on cursive writing for beginners.

    Cursive Writing- Start at the Beginning

    Think about when kids start to learn cursive. They might be in second o third grade, or between 7 and 8 years old. Or, depending on the school and the cursive writing curriculum, there may or may not even be a plan in place to teach cursive writing.

    Some teachers have to come up with cursive lesson plans on their own. Others follow a cursive curriculum such as Zabner-Browser, Handwriting without Tears, or D’Nealian. Sometimes, the school district allows a set number of weeks for cursive writing and if a child misses days during that time period, they miss the boat on learning a certain letter in cursive formation . In most cases, cursive is taught once and not covered again. Kids can write their spelling words in cursive or complete journals entries in cursive, but they are not required to do so. Usually, that is the only practice a student gets in fine tuning their cursive handwriting. Letter formation might get checked, but not graded for accuracy and the child doesn’t have the chance to go back and correct letter formation errors. They may not even notice a teacher’s marks on a letter formation mistake.

    How to start teaching cursive

    We’ve shared a lot of strategies to teach cursive here on The OT Toolbox. When getting started with cursive writing for beginners, try some of these first steps to cursive writing success:

    Start with these pre-cursive activities. Start with pre-cursive lines and use the activities in this post to work on curves, lines, bumps, waves, and re-trace lines.

    Grab these cursive flashcards to work on multisensory writing strategies when practicing cursive letter formation.

    Use this gross motor warm-up before starting a cursive letter lesson. It’s a nice way to get the whole class geared up and ready to write.

    Be sure to start with posture and paper positioning when beginning cursive lessons.

    Try a cursive lines worksheet. Use the free worksheet below.

    free cursive writing worksheet is great for teaching cursive to beginners.

    Cursive Writing Worksheet

    Use this free cursive lines worksheet to work on pencil control, cursive lines, and motor planning needed for connecting letters, re-tracing over cursive letters, and gaining motor control needed for smooth writing lines.

    Enter your email below to access your free cursive writing worksheet.

    Free Cursive Lines Worksheet

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      Print off the cursive writing worksheet and trace the lines in a variety of ways to practice smooth lines, re-trace, bumps, and curves. Try some of these cursive worksheet ideas:

      • Try Rainbow writing with colored pencils.
      • Slide the cursive worksheet into a page protector. Use dry erase markers.
      • Color Mixing Writing– Use markers to mix colors while working on line formation and re-trace in cursive.
      • Tape the worksheet to a wall and get the gross motor action involved.
      • Pin the worksheet to a bulletin board. Trace the lines with a highlighter, pencil, pen, or marker to gain sensory feedback from the bulletin board.
      • Sandpaper Writing Trick– Place the cursive worksheet over a sheet of sandpaper. Trace the lines with a pencil to gain proprioceptive feedback when writing the cursive strokes. The sandpaper can be used with markers or a pen as well.

      How to Write Cursive a

      Teaching cursive handwriting is a challenge for many parents and teachers.  Taking it step-by-step is key. Here, you will find strategies for how to write cursive letter a. Many times, there is not a specific curriculum that schools use and teachers need to scramble for resources and THEN fit handwriting time into an already jam packed day. That’s why here at The OT Toolbox, you will find cursive writing tools that can be easily added into a school day. So, if you are wondering how to teach cursive writing, then you are in luck, because we have specific tips and tricks to teach cursive letters a-z.  

      Here you will find tricks and tips to write cursive a…in fun ways!

      Teach kids how to write cursive a with these cursive writing activities, tips and tricks that will stick.  

      How to Write Cursive a

      Lowercase cursive letter a is one of the wave letters.  The letters c, a, d, g, q, and o make up these letters that contain similar letter strokes. That’s why when children are taught to write in cursive, these letters are typically grouped together. We talked about how cursive letters are related and grouped into cursive letter families. Teaching cursive letters in groups helps with letter formation, including the motor plan to form similar letters. When kids can practice cursive with a sensory approach to writing letters, they engage multiple senses along with the motor movements to form each letter. Grouping them into like letters makes the learning easier.

      Let’s get started with cursive letter a!

      Start with reviewing cursive letter c

      Start by reviewing and practicing cursive letter c. Cursive letter c (and cursive a) is a wave letter. Starting with some pencil strokes and multi-sensory practice of the wave formation is a good place to begin. Try some multi-sensory approaches to build motor planning for forming cursive a. 

      Hold a small crafting pom pom or cotton ball in the thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger. This positions the hand into a tripod grasp and “wakes up” the muscles for writing. Holding the cotton ball, students can use whole arm motions to “draw” an imaginary wave in the air. Encourage them to be sure to re-trace the wave so it has a big curved portion at the top or crest of the wave. Here is more information on teaching wave letters. 

      By re-tracing that wave back down to the bottom, they can see the letter “c” or the beginning part of a letter a forming. One tip to get that line really formed with re-trace is to tell kids tha they want the wave to be great for surfing under. If the wave is fat at the bottom, it’s not a surfing wave. We want to see a wave that is ready to fall over and crash so a surfer can surf right along the inside of the wave.

      Making a string of cursive c’s or a wave with several waves together is a good exercise.

      These handwriting tips can help teach kids how to write cursive a

      Multi-sensory approaches to teaching letters

      • Use the pom pom/cotton ball large motor method described above
      • Practice the wave curves (focus on those thin, ready to break waves!) on the palm of the hand, by “writing” with the pointer finger
      • Rainbow write with crayons, markers, or chalk
      • Paint water onto construction paper
      • Try some of the sensory writing strategies described in this free creative cursive writing journal 

       

      Write Cursive Step-by-step

      Next, turn cursive c into cursive a.

      Once that curved c is reviewed, and the students are tracing back over their wave lines so the curve looks like a single line, it’s time to turn lowercase c into lowercase a. 

      Teach cursive a by telling students to form a cursive c that looks like a wave ready to crash over. Their pencil should trace back over the wave line and move along the baseline. The pencil should move straight up to the top of the wave and pause where the wave is just about to tip over. Next, the pencil should trace strait back down to the bottom line of the paper. Then, the pencil can move along the baseline to connect to the next letter. Here are tips to teach cursive letter connections.

      Here are those cursive writing directions listed out:

      1. Write a cursive c with the top of the wave ready to crash.
      2. Move the pencil along the baseline and up to touch the tip of the wave. 
      3. Pull the pencil strait down to the baseline.
      4. Curve away to connect.

      Fix cursive writing problems

      What happens when the cursive a (or other writing in cursive) falls flat? There can be some troubleshooting to do when it comes to writing in cursive. Here are some problems you might see whth letter a.

      • The lines curving up to the top of the lowercase a aren’t touching- Remind the student to trace back over the curve of their magic c. Review how to make the curve of a letter c.
      • The “wave” looks to wide- A gaping wave can make the letter a look sloppy. Teach students to trace back over the curve of the along the same line. Try using rainbow writing for this method.
      • The up line to touch the top of the a is slanted. The a looks

      Read here to find more tips to teach each cursive letter.

      How to teach cursive letter a.

      Bat Halloween Craft

      Fall is here and that means it’s time to pull out the halloween crafts! This bat Halloween craft is a favorite in our house, and it’s actually a fun way to celebrate Halloween with kids without spooky decorations. We made another bat craft based on a Halloween book here on The OT Toolbox, and this Halloween craft for kids is one that they will get batty over! 

      Bat Halloween Craft

      This craft idea is one that doesn’t need a lot of materials. In fact, it’s a simple craft idea that is big on the fine motor buck! When kids make this bat craft, they will be boosting skills such as fine motor strength and dexterity in a big way.
      For more Halloween craft ideas, check out some of the ideas at the bottom of this post…it’s the perfect addition if you’re looking for Halloween crafts for toddlers or Halloween crafts for preschool parties.
      Make this bat craft at a Halloween party for kids for a fun Halloween craft idea that isn't spooky!


      Bat Craft

      We made this bat craft with a fun sensory twist.  And, since we have a certain second grader that is cursive handwriting obsessed, we decided to add a cursive handwriting twist to this activity.  This activity could work to help kids with letter formation of upper case letters, lowercase letters, or numbers too. The possibilities are endless. 
       
      This post contains affiliate links.
      Halloween bat craft and creative letter formation activity in this sensory Halloween craft that is a Scissor Skill power house.  Appropriate and fun for creative kids from preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school aged.

      How to Make a Bat Craft

      To make your bat craft, you’ll need just a few materials:
      Affiliate links are included.
      black cardstock 
      black yarn 
      Glue 
      Scissors (THIS is my favorite brand and the ones that I always recommended as an Occupational Therapist!)

      Halloween craft for preschool

      This is a great halloween craft for preschoolers because it’s a fantastic way to work on scissor skills with a halloween activity.

      First draw and cut a bat-ish shape on the cardstock.  Kids can cut out the shape using their Scissors for great scissor skill work.  The bat shape is a complex cutting shape and can be done by Elementary aged students.  Cutting the angled wings and curves can be difficult, but by using the cardstock, kids will get a bit fore proprioceptive feedback from the thicker resistance of the paper material.  To make the task easier, cut wings without the jagged lines or use thicker cutting lines when you draw the bat shape.  

      Once you have the bat, you’ll need to cut pieces of the black yarn.  Have your child cut long or short pieces, it doesn’t really matter what length they wish to cut for their bat’s texture.  Cutting the yarn is a great material to practice appropriate scissor positioning and bilateral hand coordination.  

      If a child is holding the scissors on an angle, cutting the yarn will be more difficult.  (You may see them trying to “saw” at the yarn!) Encourage them to hold the scissors straight up and down and the blades of the scissors at a 90 degree angle to the yarn.  You can find more of our Scissor Skills activities.

      Kids will love to make this Halloween bat craft while working on fine motor skills and scissor skills...great halloween craft for kids!

      Next, pour some glue into a shallow dish or plate.  Show your child how to drag the yarn through the glue and get it nice and saturated with the glue.  Use both hands to pinch and “scrape” off excess glue from the piece of yarn.  Next, drape the black yarn on the bat shape.  You can let your child get as creative as they wish with this part.  Some might like to outline the bat shape and others, just pile it up on the bat.  Let the glue and yarn harden and you’ll have a textured bat craft to use in Halloween decor this Fall.  You will have to wait for the glue to dry, probably overnight.

      Handwriting Practice with a bat craft!

      Halloween textured bat craft and creative letter formation activity in this sensory Halloween craft that is a Scissor Skill power house.  Appropriate and fun for creative kids from preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school aged.

      Work on letter formation with this fun Halloween bat craft!
       
      We used those saturated yarn pieces to build cursive letters.  This would be an excellent way to practice cursive letter formation in our Creative Cursive handwriting journal activity.
      Use this Bat Craft for kids to work on letter formation of any kind. It’s a creative writing activity that they will be sure to remember. Work on forming individual letters, spelling sight words, or making Halloween words.

      Halloween party idea for kids

      This would work as a very fun…and very sensory…Halloween party idea for classroom parties or Halloween with kids in general.
      1. Split kids up into teams. Give each team a collection of cut black yarn and a bowl of glue.
      2. Write a Halloween word on the board or hold up a sign with a Halloween word.
      3. Each team has to work together to use the cut yarn and glue to spell the Halloween word on a piece of paper or cardboard.
      4. Once a team has completed the word, they have to hold up their paper or cardboard. The first team to spell the word with the letters sticking wins! (Too much glue or not enough glue will make this a fun race for Halloween parties for kids of all ages.)
      Halloween textured bat craft and creative letter formation activity in this sensory Halloween craft that is a Scissor Skill power house.  Appropriate and fun for creative kids from preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school aged.
      Build printed letters with the glue yarn, too.  We had a lot of fun with this Halloween craft and it was a hit with all of my kids…from preschool on up to grade school.
       

      Halloween Craft Ideas

      Check out some of these other Halloween activities and crafts:
      • Make a Spider Craft using potato stamps. Fun for parties or just Halloween fun with the kids!
      • Use cookie cutters and chalk to make Halloween Chalk Art. It’s a messy and sensory Halloween activity that the whole family can get involved in.

      How to Teach Tow Rope Cursive Letter Connection

      When teaching cursive writing, kids can recognize that cursive letters come in groups. These cursive letter families are how we can teach kids to write letters in chunks of similar pencil strokes. Teaching cursive letters in this manner can be a helpful strategy for allowing kids success when learning the pencil strokes needed for forming cursive letters.  Below, you’ll find a subcategory of cursive letter groups: How to write cursive tow rope letters!

      As we previously discussed, a specific order a teaching cursive letters doesn’t matter as much is teaching a group of letter families together in a block. When students learn cursive letters it is beneficial to learn the pencil strokes associated with cursive letter families. We have covered all of the different cursive letter families including wave letters letters loop letters bump letters. There is a subgroup of cursive letter families that have a slightly different connecting pattern to them. These are the cursive tow rope letters.

      Use these tricks and strategies to to teach cursive letters that have a tow rope connection, this includes teaching lowercase cursive letters b, o, v, w.

      How to Teach Tow Rope Cursive Letter Connection

      If you’ve been following The OT Toolbox over the last month,
      then you know that there’s been quite a lot of information related to cursive
      handwriting. We’ve talked about letter formation, cursive slant, cursive writing speed and rhythm, and even how pencil control is needed in cursive
      handwriting.
      Today, we’re finishing up with a last cursive handwriting
      post in the series. Below you’ll find information on forming cursive letters
      that contain a “tow rope” connector to the letter following them.
      Tow Rope letters are those lowercase cursive letters that
      connect to the next letter using a horizontal line at the middle line. Most
      cursive letters connect with a curved line from the baseline. Tow Rope letters
      connect horizontally and can change formation of the letters that they connect
      to.

      Tow Rope Letters include cursive letters b, o, v, and w.

      How to teach cursive Tow Rope Letters

      Teaching the cursive tow rope letters is not much different
      than teaching other letters of the alphabet. 
      Use of a cursive writing plan can
      help, as can kinesthetic methods and multi-sensory strategies. Using tools such
      as sand paper or writing trays can bring a textural aspect to learning these
      cursive tow rope letters.
      You can read more about teaching each individual letter as
      they were broken down into cursive letter families:
      Loop Letters (Cursive letter b)
      Wave Letters (Cursive letter o)
      Bump Letters (Cursive letter v)
      Tree Letters (Cursive letter w)
      Use these tricks and strategies to to teach cursive letters that have a tow rope connection, this includes teaching lowercase cursive letters b, o, v, w.


      Trick for teaching cursive letters with a tow rope connection

      Teaching kids about the visual of a tow rope that connects a tow truck to it’s haul or a boat to a raft  can be helpful in teaching children to write cursive letters with proper connection between these letters and the letter
      they connect.
      If the tow rope sags or dips down, it can affect how the
      letters appear and result in inaccuracies.
      To show kids how to recognize and recall use of tow rope
      connections, draw a small truck at the end of the tow rope connecting lines.

      Practice cursive letter connections for tow rope letters

      Practice the combinations of cursive letters that contain
      tow rope letters:
      -ba, be, bi, bl, bo, and by
      -va, ve, vi, vo, and vy
      -wa, we, wi, wo, and wy

      -Letter o can be practiced with every letter of the alphabet
      as a vowel letter.

      Use the verbal cues associated with each letters cursive family to formation of these letters. 

      However pencil stroke exercises can be influential in behind and horizontal line to connect. Additionally practice with commonly connecting letters can make a big impact.

      In this way students with practice tow rope letters that connect to other letters as a group. These letter blends commonly and within minutes.

      How to Teach Lowercase Cursive b


      Teach students to practice be connected to letters that may occur within words. This includes ba, be, bo, bl, br, by.

      How to Teach Lowercase Cursive o

      Students can practice the commonly connected letters used in words as the letter connects to the second letter. As a vowel, the letter o may connect to every letter of the alphabet. Because of this, students who are learning cursive can practice the formation of o to the individual pencil strokes that are part of different cursive families. That is, practice o connected to the bump of bump letters, the o connected to the wave that occurs wit wave family letters, the o connected to the spike of tree letters, the o connected to the bump of bump letters, and o as an ending letter.

      How to Teach Lowercase Cursive w

      Students can practice the connection of lowercase cursive w to vowel and some consonant letters:
      Wa, we, wi, wh, wr, wl, wm, wn, wy.

      How to Teach Lowercase Cursive v

      Students can practice the connection of lowercase cursive v to vowels and commonly used consentent letter combinations. This includes: va, ve, vi, vo, vr, and vy.

      Use strategies such as creative cursive to practice these letter combinations in innovative manners to prevent boredom.
      Try these creative ways to practice cursive writing to help kids learn to write cursive letters and write legibly.Creative ways for kids to work on cursive writing including letter formation.

      Cursive Handwriting Loop Letters

      If you’ve been following The OT Toolbox, then you know this month has been FULL of ideas on how to teach cursive writing. Today, you’ll find creative activities and tips for teaching formation of cursive loop letters. Cursive loop letters are those ones that start with a loop line up. Lowercase cursive letters b, e, f, h, k, and l are loop letters. 







      This cursive letter family is a group of cursive letters that are formed with similar pencil strokes.

      Breaking letters down into cursive families can help students learn cursive letter formation. Below, you will find information on how to teach cursive letter formation of “tree letters”.


      Check out how each letter of the alphabet is broken down into chunks of similar letters in this Facebook video.


      Use these tips and strategies to help kids learn to write in cursive and learn the cursive loop letters (Cursive b, d, f, h, k, l)



      Teach cursive letter formation “loop” letters

      This post is part of our 31 day series on teaching cursive. You’ll want to check out the How to Teach Cursive Writing page where you can find all of the posts in this series. 

      For more ways to address the underlying skills needed for handwriting, check out the handwriting drop-down tab at the top of this site.


      Cursive Letter Formation of “Loop” Letters



      When instructing students in forming these letters, start by outlining a cursive letter lesson plan of activities. You can read more about cursive letter lesson plans here.



      Students can start out with learning the cursive letters that make up the Loop Family. 


      Start by practicing a series of upward curves across a line of paper. This can look like a string of cursive letter loopy l‘s joined together. When practicing the curve of the cursive letter l motions in a strand across a page, set the child’s awareness on height and the start/stop point of each curve.

      Most important is the width of the loop. Instruct students to draw the lines with proper width of the loop. A wide loop will make the letter inefficient and difficult to connect to other letters. 
      When beginning with cursive instruction, students should concentrate on an upward curve from the base line to the middle line or top line of the paper. This loop occurs in the Loop Family letters: b, e, f, h, k, and l. 

      Fine Motor Activity for Practicing Cursive Loop Letters 


      Try this activity to practice the loops of the loopy letters.

      Use washable markers to draw loops on a paper towel. (Adding pencil lines for writing spaces before starting can be a big help for addressing loop and letter size!)

      To the loops, add drops of water and watch the colors expand. 


      Be sure to talk to the child about loop height and width as these aspects to cursive writing will carry the most weight when it comes to legibility.


      For a colorful work of art, trace over the marker loops with additional colored markers.
      Read more about this cursive handwriting activity and others here on The OT Toolbox. 



      Activities for Teaching Cursive Loop Letters

      Use short phrases to instruct cursive formation. Phrases like “Loop up to the top line” or “Loop up to the middle line” can help. 



      Try these sensory activities to teach cursive handwriting loop letters:

      Affiliate links are included below.

      Write with glitter or colored glue on lined paper. Allow the glue to dry. Students can feel the raised lines of the loops.

      Draw with wet chalk on a chalkboard or sidewalk. Be sure to add guide lines first to address loop height.

      Create different sized loops using wikki stix. These are a great tool for getting the hands in on the fine motor action with a tactile experience that promotes motor planning and kinesthetic learning. 



      How to Teach Lowercase Cursive b



      Use the following verbal prompts to teach lowercase cursive letter b:





      Start at the baseline. Loop up to the top line and back to the baseline. Swing up to the middle line. Tow rope away to connect.


      Lowercase cursive letter b is a tow rope letter. These are letters that connect at the middle line. They change the beginning of the letter they connect to.



      It can be helpful to practice letters that are commonly connected to letter b such as ba, be, bi, bl, bo, br, bu, and by.



      How to Teach Lowercase Cursive e
      Use the following verbal prompts to teach lowercase cursive letter e:

      Start at the baseline. Loop up to the middle line and back to the baseline. Loop away to connect.

      Instruct students to stop at the middle line.






      How to Teach Lowercase Cursive f



      Use the following verbal prompts to teach lowercase cursive letter f:

      Start at the baseline. Loop up to the top line and back to the baseline. Continue straight down past the baseline. Curve right and up to the baseline, connecting at the strait part of the tail. Swing away to connect. 


      Note about cursive letter f– This letter requires the pencil lines to close the tail into a “bunny ear” type of loop. Think about drawing a tall bunny ear. The lines create a long, loop type of shape that does not cross like a the loop on the top part of the f. Rather, the curved motion has a potential for an opening. It’s important for students to close the tail of the f. Likewise, it’s important to keep the closure point at the baseline. If the closure point creeps up above the baseline or has an opening, the letter can potentially look like a cursive b. Work on loop formation and motor control for closure points in multi-sensory activities such as with sandpaper or in writing trays. 

      b, e, f, h, k, and l. 
      How to Teach Lowercase Cursive h

      Use the following verbal prompts to teach lowercase cursive letter h:
      Start at the baseline. Loop up to the top line and back to the baseline. Pause. Re-trace back up to bump to the middle line. Continue over the bump to the baseline. Swing away to connect.


      How to Teach Lowercase Cursive k

      Use the following verbal prompts to teach lowercase cursive letter k:

      Start at the baseline. Loop up to the top line and back to the baseline. Pause. Re-trace back up to bump to the middle line. Continue over the bump and pull back into the loop. Add a kickstand to the baseline. Swing away to connect.


      Note about cursive letter k– This letter requires the pencil lines to close the bump at the loop. It’s important for students to pull the pencil lines in and to close the bump. If the closure point doesn’t close at the loop, the letter can potentially look like a cursive h. Work on loop formation and motor control for closure points in multi-sensory activities such as with sandpaper or in writing trays. 



      How to Teach Lowercase Cursive l

      Use the following verbal prompts to teach lowercase cursive letter l:

      Start at the baseline. Loop up to the top line and back to the baseline. Loop away to connect.


      A few tips for teaching cursive loop letters

      It would be very difficult to teach cursive handwriting only by verbal instruction. Carryover and accuracy would suffer!

      A visual component and slow teaching strategies are very important. Try these tips to help with learning cursive loop letters.

      • Teach each letter individually and for short periods of time each day.
      • Practice cursive letters in multiple sensory experiences, including shaving cream on desks, writing trays, in goop, with play dough or slime, etc.
      • Practice each letter in a group focusing on one letter at a time. When a new letter is introduced, continue with previously learned letters. 




      Want to teach other cursive letter families? 
      Here is information on how to teach wave letters (c, a, d, g, q).
      Try these ideas to teach bump letters (m, n, v, x, y, z).
      Try these ideas to teach tree letters (i, j, p, t, u, and w).


      Use these tips and strategies to help kids learn to write in cursive and learn the cursive loop letters (Cursive b, d, f, h, k, l)


      More Cursive Handwriting Tools and Resources:

      Affiliate links are included.
























      Try these cursive writing tools to help with forming letters:

      Affiliate links are included. 



      Cursive Writing Wizard is a free app on Amazon that allows students to trace letters and words. The app has stickers and animations as well as games that promote learning of cursive letters and connecting lines. 
      Cursive Handwriting Workbook is a workbook for kids in elementary grades and focuses on  formation of cursive letters (upper and lower case) as well as words. 

      Teachers can use a laser pointer in the classroom to help students see parts of cursive letters as they instruct each part of the formation. This is helpful when teaching letters in cursive letter families.