I bought a handwriting wipe-off mat at Target last year during their back-to-school sale. Emma used it to learn how to write beautifully, and then about a month ago Johnny started using it as well. It was pretty worn out, so I bought Johnny a new one this summer. Emma asked for a cursive one to try, and she is doing really well with her cursive letters now. In France, children are taught to write cursive first; they get introduced to printing around sixth grade. I’ve wondered if the fluidity of cursive makes it easier to learn, and if it helps to eliminate the confusion children sometimes have over the similarity of lowercase b, d, p, and q.
My kids really enjoy writing letters with the smooth whiteboard markers, and this is an activity they seem to choose when they need a quiet calm-down period.