It's sometimes hard to find activities that both J and T can do that are true "learning" based - with 18 months difference there is a huge gap at the moment between where they are at but this activity I was able to adapt it for something that T is able to do and suitable for her age (20 months) and J (3 years and 9 months). This yarn shape and letter tracing works on letter and shape recognition as well as formation especially with letters working on the correct way to write to help an easy progression to "joined up handwriting".
I started out by drawing and writing letters and shapes on pieces of paper if I had been more organised instead of spur of the moment I would have printed them out and cut up some yarn to reasonable lengths for the children.
Sitting at a table T was able to trace the shapes easily following the line whilst I worked with J on the correct way to form letters using the yarn to follow the route that is taken.
Once he had the hang of the route he practised each letter - we working on letters s, a, t, p, i and n as well as a capital J these are the letters that they are working on in Preschool and form the first sounds of the Jolly Phonics programme and I have left the letters and yarn out for him.
With T I helped her to trace the shape outline with the yarn as well as to fill in the shapes it gave us an opportunity to talk about then - we looked at circles, triangles, rectangles and squares and also the letter T.
Check out our salt writing for another quick letter formation activity for preschoolers and you to work on together.