Owen is almost 4 1/2, and we have been working on two new skills with his name lately – to write it with lowercase letters (as opposed to all capitals, which is how I taught him at first) and to stop reversing capital N.  The other day it dawned on me that I could use the same concept as our Magic Math activity to enable him to check his writing of his name himself!

This idea is not meant to be a treatment for kids who have truly been diagnosed with dyslexia or other learning disabilities – I don’t have the experience to be able to say whether this would be helpful in those cases or not.

A trick for helping kids fix their letter reversals

The idea is simple – write your child’s name in white crayon and then have them paint over it with watercolors.  Their name will “appear” as the crayon resists the paint, and they can check to see if they wrote it correctly.  Owen really enjoyed this activity.

Obviously, you could do this same thing with a pencil, but the paint makes it much more fun!

A Trick for Helping Kids Fix Letter Reversals

First, we worked on writing his name with a capital O and then lowercase letters.  I drew a series of boxes and had him write his name, and then I wrote it as a check, and then he painted over it to check.  If you’re really trying to fix things, I would definitely do one name at a time, as opposed to having your child fill the page.  Otherwise they may end up writing it incorrectly over and over…

A Trick to Help Kids Fix Letter Reversals

 The lowercase letters turned out great, but as usual he made his backwards N when we got to capital letters.

A Trick to Help Kids Fix Letter Reversals

But he had so much fun painting over his name to make it appear, and then he quickly noticed the mistake himself.

More ideas for helping kids learn their names: 


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  1. Vicky @ Mess For Less Nov 2, 2013

    My daughter struggles with this and loathes her handwriting homework from school. This is a great way to practice that I am sure will be fun for her. Just pinned!

  2. Cabbage Nov 2, 2013

    I don't think I've said anything yet, but all your ideas are brilliant.

    1. Amber B Nov 18, 2013

      I agree with Cabbage over here! Your ideas are AMAZING and full of creative fun! Thank you so much for sharing with all of us. :) You are one of my absolute favorite educating mommies on this world wide web!!!

  3. stephanie Nov 2, 2013

    Great idea!!

  4. Speechie Nov 3, 2013

    This in an awesome idea! Just a note though- Dyslexia is when people put letters in the wrong order (such as "Onwe" for Owen) it is a common misconception that Dyslexic kids write their letters in reverse!

    1. Allyson Kelly Nov 3, 2013

      A 4.5 year old with dyslexia, most likely would not be writing letters at all... Mom of a 22yr old with dyslexia and other LD's. Great idea for children who can retain a "visual memory" of letter formations, tho!

  5. Katie Nov 3, 2013

    This is so great. I actually have an almost 5 year old that write the j in his name backwards and have been wondering how to fix it. Thank you for the awesome idea.

  6. jenny Dec 20, 2013

    Hey there,

    Are you still correcting the website of yours?

    I discovered 16 grammar errors.

    Best wishes,

    1. elenah Mar 23, 2014

      You, Jenny, are a jerk, a grammar snob and a troll. As I suspected, clicking on your name takes one to-surprise, surprise-your blog about grammar. You have no interest in this blog at all except to snag viewers for your own blog. And no, I do not know Frugal Fun For Boys at all-just found it on Pinterest. FYI, most people would be so disgusted by your comment that they would not visit you blog. My adult son & I had a blast today on Facebook I posting back & forth with sentences using commonly misused words. But one of us noted that it was not cool to be a grammar snob-that many people who misuse words are much sweeter than the snobs. You have proved my point. If I had to choose only one characteristic for myself, I would not choose to be a snarky grammar snob.

  7. Prekteacher 27 May 5, 2014

    Speechie, there are many different types of dyslexia. As a mother of a child with dyslexia and a teacher of many students with dyslexia, I have spent countless hours researching and reading materials to help students with this issue. Letter and number reversal can be one way dyslexia presents itself in some children (usually over the age of 8). However, many students reverse letters and numbers until the age of 7. This does not mean they have dyslexia. With my students (17 year career teacher) it usually means they did not use the proper technique in writing the letter. For instance they start at the bottom instead of the top or start on the right instead of the left. I use a starting dot on the line for my students when we do handwriting so they have a visual reference. Eventually, they do not need the dot and make the letters the correct way most of the time.

    1. Robin Dec 14, 2014

      While some students with dyslexia may reverse some of their letters, the correct LD for written reversals is dysgraphia. In general in the world of LD, dyslexia deals with the reversals in reading, dysgraphia deals with reversals in writing, and dyscalculia deals with understanding math problems. There is some confusion because obviously there is a lot of overlap and children (and adults) might struggle with one to a lesser degree than another.

  8. MJ Jan 28, 2015

    Your ideas are great and fun. Just a tip for those that are concerned about reversals. Developmentally, it is normal for children to reverse letters up until they are eight and for children to write their names backwards on occasion through age six. That's why it is developmental, children go through the stage of doing it and then move on. They can recognize and correct their writing because they have a sense of left/right and directionality as they become older which is needed for correct letter formation. All the activities are wonderful and intervention definitely can help but don't become overly worried when your child continues to reverse it it part of development.

  9. Christina @There's Just One Mommy Aug 21, 2015

    We love using crayon and water colors together. This is a fun way to let kids check their work.


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