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The Answer to Why-Questions Kids Ask about Writing Letters

March 22, 2015

If your kids are at the age of wonder you know it like no one else what type of questions they ask several times per day. Why-Questions! 

We, parents, can sometimes explain it to them how a rainbow appears and how birds fly. We also trick them into believing that kids are brought with storks and that Santa Claus really exists. 

However, we find ourselves hard pressed when they ask why certain letters are written in a certain way. How do we know? Writing letters comes as our second nature and we’ve never thought why H is written with two vertical lines and one horizontal line or why Q has that tiny little tail that makes it different from O. 

If we don’t know the exact answer, the only thing left is to make up a feasible explanation. My kids used to ask me why the following letters differ with just one small element. At first I was confused about what to answer, but then I thought ‘Gosh, as a parent, I need to know the answer’.  I looked at the letters more attentively 








Suddenly, it dawned on me! The letters in the right hand column are made by adding a small item to the letters in the left hand column! And suddenly, the explanation was here: when letters F, P, and V were born, they were very unstable and kept falling down because they touched the ground with only one leg. To help them out, people added some small strokes and created new letters which stood more confident.  Letters O, C, and J had almost the same problem: letter O was rolling like a wheel and couldn’t stop anywhere, letter C was swaying from one side to another, and letter J kept falling on its back. Some more lines just made them more stable. 

So, that was the explanation my kids fell for. I hope this will be helpful to you.

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