I know it's common for children to start drawing circles very early. However Otis has been using the 'o' sandpaper letter at school and understands 'o' is for 'Otis'.
His teacher has previously discussed teaching him phonetically what I think is called the long 'o' first - so it sounds like the 'o' in his name.
Otis has access to lovely crayons and pencils however I like to ensure he has other writing tools as well. Chalk is great for children who like to write, rub it out and then write again.
He also loves the sand tray.
A paint tray is also fun, we could put paper over the top to make a print. We've used a roller to get the paint smooth on the tray like this.
A flour tray is a also a good option if you can't find clean sand or just want to put something together quick. This is a little messier as Otis got flour all over his arm and shirt (and face!).
I can't say I've seen this used by others learning to write (for the purposes of writing) however I find charcoal really smooth on paper. I think it is a great option to strengthen the hand and to increase hand control. I'm sure it would be nice to use while learning cursive (his school sandpaper letters are cursive).
It will be interesting to see which letter he learns next.