How to Help Children Who Reverse Letters

by Kim Blakesley Google

    Does your preschooler have you all tied up in knots because she's making backwards letters? Don't fret. She's normal! Many little kids go through this stage. Reverse letter writing, also known as backwards letter writing, is a normal developmental stage. The concept of writing from left to right isn't fully developed until a child is in elementary school. So, relax. Your preschooler is doing just fine. Writing reverse letters is normal -- and it's easily corrected. Just love her, be patient and practice with her, and she'll learn the right way to write her letters.

    Items you will need

    • Large, lined paper for preschoolers
    • Pencil
    • Copy machine - optional

    First, Practice!

    Step 1

    Place a sheet of large lined paper for preschool aged children on a flat work surface. Print a row commonly reversed letter across the first line. Commonly reversed letters include b, d, g, p and q.

    Step 2

    Skip a line. Draw dotted letters directly under the printed letters on the line above. The dotted letters are guides that your child will follow. Skip one line and leave it blank. Repeat the process for the remaining three commonly reversed letters or with any letters your child is having problems with.

    Step 3

    Copy the completed sheets to use for another practice session.

    Step 4

    Tell your little one to look at the first line. Discuss which letter it is and how it is constructed. You ask, "Is it a b?" She says, "Yes, it is a b." You ask, "Do you see the tall line?" "Yes."

    Step 5

    Tell her to connect the dots of the letters on the second line so that they look like the printed letter on the line above. Then, tell her to stop connecting dots when she gets to the end of the line.

    Step 6

    Move to the next line of printed letters. Ask her what letter it is and talk about how the letter is made. Tell her to connect the dots of the letters on the next line. Then, tell her to stop when she is at the end of the row. Repeat this process until all the dotted letters are connected.

    Attic and Basement Letters

    Step 1

    Give your preschool child the first page. Ask her what letter is written on the first line. Praise her when she gets the right answer. "Good job! That's right!"

    Step 2

    Talk to her about how to make the letter. Trace the dotted lines of the first letter to show her how to make the letter correctly.

    Step 3

    Draw a house to the left of the first letter. Use a square for the bottom and a triangle for the top. Place the square between the dotted line and the bottom solid line while the triangle is placed above the top line and extends to the dotted line. The triangle is the attic and the square is the basement. Use the attic and basement as an example of where to begin. For the letter ''b'', the ''b'' starts in the attic and the round part of the ''b'' is in the basement.

    Step 4

    Ask your child to connect the dots to create the next dotted letter. Start with the leg and add the bump. Watch your child connect the dots. Help her if she runs into problems. Praise her when she finishes by saying, "Great job!"

    Step 5

    Ask her to put down her pencil. Talk about how she connected the dot to create her letter. Tell her to connect the dots of the rest of the letters on the page. Give her the next page of letters. Repeat until she's tired or has finished all the pages. You've done it! And so has she!


    • Create extra sheets for daily practice. Practice time will vary, depending on how quickly your child picks up on the right way to write each letter. Many children reverse numbers 2, 3, 4, 6 and 9. Use the same process to teach her how to write numbers correctly.

    About the Author

    Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."

    Photo Credits

    • Hemera Technologies/ Images