The holiday season is often a hectic period of time for adults and kids alike. This quiet activity is one easy way to calm your little ones down at the end of a school day or after a busy day of holiday shopping, while simultaneously helping them to better identify their letters and numbers. Next time your child is acting a little too rambunctious before bedtime, give this calming fingertip letter writing activity a try.

### What You’ll Need

• A comfortable flat surface (bed, carpeted floor, etc)
• A few quiet moments

### How To Start The Activity

1. Find a warm flat surface suitable for your young child to comfortably lie down on their belly. We like to play this calming fingertip letter writing activity in bed with the heated mattress pad on during chilly autumn morning and nights.
2. Have your child take a few deep breaths before lying down on their belly.
3. Smooth their shirt so it lays flat against his or her back (or ask them to take it off) so that they will be able to feel the subtle movements of your fingertip better (this activity works through fabric too and we will play that way on planes and in cars, but it can be more difficult for your child to identify the letters and numbers through their shirt).
4. Slowly write letters vertically — upper and lower case — one at a time, nice and big across their back. Ask your child to quietly call out each letter.
5. Now, move on to numbers.
6. Eventually, move on to spelling words one letter at a time and writing out math equations by using your fingertip to make a number on their back, a +, -, or x symbol, another number and then an equal sign. Not only will your child have to focus intently on each letter in the word and each piece of the equation, they will also have to spell out the word and solve the problem all while calmly and quietly relaxing with their eyes closed.

Jeff Bogle is an at-home dad who writes humorously about parenting and All Things Childhood on his site Out With The Kids. He is married to an adorable redheaded gal and has two lovely little ladies 12 and under who provide him with countless hours of humorous in-home entertainment, and who get to hear, see, and play with more cool stuff than you can possibly imagine.