Here’s a fun way for toddlers to practice tracing as they starting out in letter recognition. Bonus points: the activity doubles as a sensory bag!
To set up, fill a large zip-top plastic bag with liquid. I made two versions of this, although neither was quite right. The first one had corn syrup and a little blue glitter, but this was a touch too thick. The second one I filled water with a little blue glitter glue, but this was too… watery. I think hair gel would be the perfect in-between solution, and I’ll aim for that next time! Regardless, once you’ve added your liquid and glitter, you’ll need to add the best part: drop in a plastic fish toy.
Seal the bag tightly and secure with duct tape. Next, write letters of the alphabet on pieces of construction paper, ideally with a blue background, although I only had purple. Once I had colored the letters in with green marker, they sort of looked like waving seaweed!
If you want to, you could go through all 26 letters for your child. Today, I focused on two letters: V for Veronika and T for big brother Travis. Place the fish sensory bag over one letter at a time and show your toddler how to “swim” the fish along the lines to trace it.
It’s hard to tell if Veronika really picked up on the learning, or whether she just loved the activity because she was enamored with the fish. She loved making it swim so wasn’t necessarily following the lines, but she could tell me whether she was looking at a V or T.
Overall, I loved the idea behind this activity and may return to it when she’s a little older!