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Training writing form with the tactile ABC

Playfully improve illegible handwriting

What makes legible writing? What counts here is not that the letters look like they are printed, but that each letter is easily recognisable.

From the first word to legible writing

When children start writing, the letters still look rather wobbly, just like a child's first steps. However, so that what is written is legible for everyone, newly learned letters are transferred again and again to the lines provided and should look as much as possible like the printed original. This tracing is important for children in the first step, in order to get to know the appearance and the proportions of the letters. However, when it comes to actual writing, the focus should not be on perfect form, but on legibility.

What is the difference between shapely and legible?

Legible writing is characterised by the fact that letters can be clearly and quickly recognised, i.e. read, even by third parties. This is possible if the decisive characteristics of a letter are observed. For example, an E consists of a long stroke with three shorter strokes across it, which start at the top, middle and bottom. These are the characteristics of the letter E; if these are adhered to, the letter is legible even if the middle cross stroke slips slightly up or down or the cross strokes are not perfectly flush with the long stroke. These are individual tolerance ranges, which can be found in every adult handwriting and in the end make up the personal handwriting. Therefore, this development should not be prevented in children, even if the handwriting may not be perfect by definition. Rather, it is important to make the child understand when a letter is legible and recognizable and when it is no longer. For example, an E with only two horizontal strokes easily becomes an F.

The basic shapes of the letters as an aid: the tactile ABC

Once the basic shapes and characteristics of the letters have been internalised, the foundation for legible, automated handwriting is laid. Through playful exercises in which children learn to internalise the shapes of letters, legible handwriting is promoted. For the tactile ABC game from our video, children first draw individual letters of the ABC on different materials. The letters can be placed and traced from the five basic letter shapes. Materials that work well include sandpaper, cardboard, and fabric. The letters are then cut out. In this way, the children get to grips with the letter shapes before the actual game begins. Now the finished tactile ABC is covered with a cloth and the children take turns selecting, feeling and naming the letters underneath. Then the children show their letter to all the other players. Is the answer correct? If yes, how was the letter recognised, if no, how can it be recognised next time? The shapes of the letters are internalised very well through the use of the senses and are memorised. This helps with writing!