It is important that children are taught how to form letters correctly from the start. However, this does not mean that we focus on perfectly neat, well-formed letters when children first begin to write! On this page, you will find fun ideas for teaching children how to form letters and an alphabet chart which you can print and use as a reference.

Download the alphabet chart in English

Download the alphabet chart in Afrikaans

Download the alphabet chart in isiXhosa

Download the alphabet chart in isiZulu

Download the letter formation chart 

Letter formation activities

Use the alphabet chart to introduce each new letter. Name the picture, then stretch out the beginning sound. For example, ‘Look at the snake…..ssssnake….snake starts with /s/. This is how you write /s/’.

Use the letter formation sheet to show children the correct way to write letters.

NOTE: Start off making letters with BIG movements and if children are in Grade R avoid activities that involve writing letters between lines on paper.


Ideas for helping children learn how to form letters:

  • Make letters out of play dough
  • Write letters in big chalk and get children to walk on the lines of the letters
  • Use sand trays for children to make letters with their fingers
  • Fill polystyrene trays with jelly and get children to make letters with their fingers
  • Use sticks to write letters in the sand
  • Use water and a paintbrush to paint letters on concrete floors
  • Cut out pictures from magazines; stick pictures that start with the same letter on a page
  • Practise writing letters with a whiteboard marker on a wipe sheet (A4 paper inside a plastic sleeve)