Children learn to print the letters of the alphabet by tracing letters and practicing the formation in a variety of ways. A child needs the strength and control in his hand to form the shapes of the letters.
A child first needs the ability to write the strokes that create letters. The basic strokes are vertical lines, horizontal lines, slanted lines and circles. Drawing these lines prepares a child for forming letters and strengthens the hand muscles for better control. Parents can turn it into a game by calling out different types of lines for the child to draw.
Introducing a few letters at a time helps a child master them before moving on. The letters of his name have a meaningful connection and work well as a starting point. He may already know the letters of his name. The parent can gradually introduce more letters, such as letters from family members' names until the child learns the entire alphabet.
Repeated writing practice helps a child improve his handwriting. Using varied writing methods keeps the practice interesting. Ideas include writing letters in the air, tracing them with markers, painting letters and writing them in shaving cream. Another option is to form the letters from clay. Squeezing the clay also strengthens the child's hand muscles, which improves writing.