The child will use a dry erase board and a cotton swab (or a chalkboard and a wet paintbrush) to trace and erase letters and drawings.
Start by drawing a simple shape, object, or letter. Show and tell the child what you have drawn as you point to it. Then encourage the child to use a cotton swab if using a dry erase board, or a paintbrush dipped in water if using a chalkboard, to trace or “paint” over what you have drawn in order to erase it. Help the child to follow the line or curve with his swab or brush by using hand-over-hand technique, but recognize that the child may go back to using a scribbling motion if his fine motor skills are not strong enough to trace yet.
Narrate his actions as he does this, for example, “Liam, we are tracing the L in your name by making a long, straight line down and a short line across” or “Carmen, you painted over the square and now it’s all gone! Should we make it again?” As the child gets more skillful, you can draw or write whole words or more complex figures for the child to “trace and erase.” For example, you can write the names of other family members and say, “This is the word Dad. Let’s trace Dad.”