Pipe cleaners are great for improving fine motor skills and are a wonderful tool for the beginning writers. As a child bends and shapes the pipe cleaners, he or she strengthens the muscle of the hand and memorizes the letters and the spelling rules. Because of the hand-eye coordination involved in this action, it is a much easier way to learn letters and spelling, than simply writing letters.
At first, show the kids some letters made out of pipe cleaners. Show them how you bend the pipe cleaner to make the letters. Ask the kids to put a few simple words together, using these letters. Start with “cat, dog, car, mama,” etc. For an older child, come up with a sentence. Then, ask the kids to make letters, words and sentences ( according to their age and ability) by themselves. My children absolutely love this playful way of learning letters.