Handwriting practice is extremely valuable for multiple reasons, yet many students are resistive to doing it. Check out these valuable tips and tricks to help your child make the most of their handwriting practice.
Handwriting strengthens fine motor and cognitive skills and builds self-confidence and self-esteem. When students have difficulty with handwriting, more often than not, they have to focus on how to form their letters and make their writing legible rather than the content of their writing. This can make the writing process slow, laborious, and frustrating.
Have your child practice proper letter formation for just 10 minutes a day–it will help them develop automaticity and fluidity.
Fun Ways to Practice Handwriting:
- Tic-Tac-Toe: Play Tic-Tac-Toe with the letters your child needs to practice.
- Creative Writing Materials: Write letters in pudding, whipped cream, sugar, salt, etc., or make them with Play-Doh.
- Air Writing: Practice writing letters in the air–have your child pretend that their index finger is a rocket and then demonstrate how to write the letters in the sky.
- Dry-Erase Markers: Use dry-erase markers to practice writing on mirrors or glass surfaces. Kids love this!
- Utilize Flash Lights: Turn off the lights and use a flashlight to make letters on the wall or ceiling.
- Like Massages? Call out a letter and have your child write it with their finger on your back or have them write a letter and guess what it is.
- Chalk! Use sidewalk chalk to write letters, words, or messages on the sidewalk.
- Dice Game: Have your child roll one or two dice, add the sum, and write a letter they are practicing that many times. Roll again for the next letter.
- Use Alphabet Bean Bags: Have your child pick a mystery letter from the container of bean bags (no peeking!). Have them come up with a word that begins with that letter to write. For younger kids, you can also have them name the letter on the bean bag and say the sound it makes.
- Word Scramble: Do a word scramble with a list of letters that need practice (add some vowels if there aren’t any in the list) and have your child write as many words as they can using only those letters.
- Creating Secret Cipher Codes: A unique, fun way to engage your child in writing. Click HERE to learn more!
- Play Games: Utilize games like Bananagrams, Scrabble/Scrabble Junior, Very Silly Sentences, Word Snag, Wordplay, Zingo and have your child write the words/sentences they come up with during the game.
- Write with a Q-tip and Paint.: Not only does this make writing more fun and artistic, it also promotes a good pencil grasp!
- Go on a Find and Write Scavenger Hunt: Hide letters and words around the house and have your child search for them and write them down as they go. Once they have all of the letters and words, they can sit down and try to unscramble a secret word or message.
- Use Liquid Glue to Form Letters or Words: This is an awesome activity not only for practicing letter formation but for hand strengthening as well. Have your child sprinkle colored sand on the letter or word at the end to make it colorful.
- Have Your Child Write About Topics of Interest: I have a kindergartener making a list of his favorite Pokemon characters, a first grader who has just completed nine pages about Nexo Knights (and is still going!), and a third grader who has written three chapters about the Titanic, Olympic, and Britannic. Utilize what is intrinsically motivating!
Does your child have a fun, favorite way to practice writing? If so, please share it with me–I always love gleaning inspiration from families and students.
About Skills 4 Life:
Skills 4 Life Pediatric Occupational Therapy offers a broad range of pediatric occupational therapy services to help your child master age-appropriate developmental skills, become more independent, increase academic success & develop confidence. The experts at Skills 4 Life specialize in handwriting, keyboarding & executive function coaching, but also work with children on social & emotional learning, motor skills, self-regulation strategies & activities of daily living. Skills 4 Life Pediatric Occupational Therapy offers your child a safe, compassionate environment to learn the critical skills they need to be successful. Learn more about our team & services at www.skills4lifeot.com, or you can contact our office by email at email@example.com or by phone at 303.351.1828 for a free consultation.