Preschoolers learn a lot about literacy in the few short years they have in early childhood. From print awareness skills to letter recognition, writing, and more. With so many literacy skills to teach your preschoolers, try these free alphabet tracing cards because they also teach beginning sounds, too!
This post includes a free alphabet printable for preschoolers, to be sure to grab it from the end of this post.
Teach Writing and Beginning Sounds with these Alphabet Tracing Cards
If you’ve been following me for a while, then you know I don’t teach letter of the week, but I also don’t take a whole language approach, either.
I guess I’m a fence sitter, but from my own research about literacy instruction in early childhood and from what you, my reader, needs…well…it’s ok to be on the fence about this. In fact, the fence is the best place to sit.
I like to formally introduce a new letter to my preschoolers each week. I don’t go in alphabetical order, instead I go in order of what letters and sounds are most common in the English language. So, after the first six weeks, my preschoolers have a set of letters they can start putting together to form real words if they are developmentally ready.
Now all that said, each letter is supported by any or all of my preschool literacy centers. They are supported by whole language activities. You can still make phonics meaningful to preschoolers even if you formally introduce a new letter each week. If you haven’t read my post about it, you need to stop what you’re doing right now and read it. (Yea, I just gave you the same link three times in two sentences because it’s that important).
One way you can make the alphabet meaningful to preschoolers is by offering them loads of exposure to letters and words.
That’s where these alphabet tracing cards come into play.
These cards not only offer the preschooler loads of practice in writing letters, but also gives them exposure to beginning sounds. And as always, I have lots of ideas on how to can use these simple alphabet tracing cards to teach all sorts of literacy skills, and I even offer a few ideas on how to get parents involved at home, too!
FREE Alphabet Tracing Cards for Preschoolers
These alphabet tracing cards are really versatile. While they may seem really straight-forward at first-glance, be sure to read to the end of the post for more ideas, and of course don’t forget to grab your free printable, too!
- free alphabet tracing cards
- crayons or colored pencils
These tracing cards are a little like coloring pages, so all you need to do is print in black and white and cut.
Now, I like to print on card stock. I know it’s a little pricey to print on card stock, but it really helps with some of the extra activities I list below.
How to Use the Alphabet Tracing Cards with your Preschoolers
You can simply add these cards to your preschool writing center or your alphabet center and allow your preschooler to pick and choose which letters he would like to learn about. He might pick a letter form his name or a letter he already knows.
But I like to save these alphabet tracing cards and only pull out the letter I’m introducing to my preschoolers that week. The reason why this…
- You can save each card and hole punch it and put it on a binder ring so your preschooler has a ring of all 26 letters. Give the completed ring to him at the end of the school year as a way to review the alphabet over the summer. Or,
- You can send home each letter as it is introduced in class and encourage parents to hang them up at home and make and alphabet wall. Since they are small, only a quarter sheet, parents find it really easy to find space for them at home. And, this helps parents create what is called a “literacy-rich environment” at home. You can read more about that in this post.
But before you do either of these, the preschooler needs a chance to actually practice tracing the letters and coloring the pictures.
Always Choose Rainbow Writing
I am a huge fan of rainbow writing because it allows preschoolers to practice each letter six different times (because they use six different colors), but without them feeling overwhelmed by looking a six copies of the letter. Sometimes a preschooler looks at a traditional tracing worksheet and sees all those letters and they start to feel like they have a ton of work ahead of them, which can make them have a negative feeling about writing. I find that rainbow writing helps prevent those negative feelings.
Please note, it really doesn’t matter if your preschooler uses exactly six colors, or even if the colors are all true rainbow colors or all different. The point of rainbow writing is that the preschooler gets to make choices (by choosing the colors) and they get extra practice (by choosing more than one color).
Use a Variety of Writing Tools
Just like anyone else, preschoolers have preferences, too and they also get bored by the mundane. So, switch up the writing tool once in s while. Allow your preschoolers to use crayon rocks, mini colored pencils, colored pens, or markers. A new favorite in my preschool are the clicking colored pens. Yes, there ends up being a lot of clicking going on, but the added enthusiasm for writing practice outweighs the clicking.
More Ways to Use These Alphabet Tracing Cards
- Paste the completed cards in a notebook so your preschooler makes his own alphabet book throughout the school year.
- Have your preschooler dictate other words that begin with the same sound and write those words on the back of each card.
- Show parents how to use the cards at home to create a scavenger hunt for beginning sounds around the house.
Want More Alphabet Activities for Preschoolers?
You might like some of these.
Need Some Printable Literacy Centers for Preschool?
Try some of these printable literacy centers. They are reusable, and really work on those alphabet skills!
Grab Your FREE Alphabet Tracing Cards Here!
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I am Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home mama of five! I am the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught range of levels, including preschool and college, and a little bit of just about everything in between. Right now, my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction