Wet, Dry, Now You Try: Learn to Write the Letters of the Alphabet

Guest Post by Malia of Playdough to Plato


They say, “practice makes perfect” and as I watched my kindergarteners learn to write the letters of the alphabet year after year, that saying certainly proved to be true. To learn how to write well, children often needed to practice and practice and… well… practice some more.


I was determined to make their work seem as pain-free as possible by adding in a little fun. One of my favorite tricks was my twist on a classic Handwriting Without Tears activity called “Wet, Dry, Now You Try!” It’s great to use with children you are working with one-on-one or in small groups.


To start, gather a few supplies. Each child will need the following:


  • A chalkboard.
  • A Q-tip.
  • A small cup of water.
  • A piece of chalk.


Before your child joins you, write the letters you want her to practice on her chalkboard. If your child is in the beginning stages of learning how to write, post just five or six letters the first time and then add a few more each day. If your child has almost mastered letter writing, post everything from A to Z.



Invite your child to join you and ask her to dip one end of her Q-tip in her cup of water to get it wet.

Now comes the fun. Call out a letter for your child to find. When she does, ask her to trace the letter with the wet end of her Q-tip. (This is the “wet” step in “Wet, Dry, Now You Try!”.)



Next, have your child turn the Q-tip over to the dry side and trace the letter again. (That’s the “Dry”.)



And, finally, ask her to trace the letter with her piece of chalk. (Yep! You guessed it. That’s “Now you try!”)



When your child is finished, call out another letter and repeat the process again. She will love playfully learning to write and you will love seeing her make quick progress.


Malia is a National Board Certified elementary teacher and the blogger behind Playdough to Plato, a site dedicated to helping parents teach their children to read and write in 20 fun-filled minutes a day. Find more playful early literacy activities on her blog and Facebook page.


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  1. I’m doing Spell to Write and Read with my twins, and they’re learning cursive first – they absolutely LOVED this! And so did I! This is going to be a staple to our homeschool routine! Thanks for sharing!

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