While reading up on writing and the progression of handwriting, I chanced upon a Montessori related article mentioning the use of metal inserts to teach children handwriting. These inserts are of 10 geometrical shapes: circle, ellipse, oval, curvilinear triangle, quatrefoil, square, rectangle, triangle, trapezoid, and pentagon.
Upon googling, these metal inserts cost more than what I expect, so I’ve created my set of stencils using cardboard. Although, it isn’t as sturdy as metal inserts, Hannah made good progress with them. I didn’t do all 10 shapes just the basic few like circle, triangle, square, rectangle, and I’ve included a diamond shape since we’ve been learning about it.
I could see Hannah trying to control her color pencil and crayon while she traced around the stencils. She happily named each shape as she traced. It was a wonderful moment when I heard Hannah shouted, “Yeah!”, when she successfully traced her first shape. The stencils were a great help as they guided her little hands. I sensed it was not as frustrating as drawing free-hand.
If your child is learning to write, why not DIY your very own set of shape stencils and watch your child have fun with them!