Suggested by teachers and occupational therapists, these fine motor handwriting activities work to improve pencil grasp, letter formation, and more!
“I’m constantly on the lookout for fun handwriting activities for my 6-year-old. I don’t like to pressure him to practice writing but I do think it’s important that he work on his skills. He sees an occupational therapist to help him with fine motor skills, so I want to reinforce that at home. My son has a strong-willed personality and there is no point in trying to force him to do something he doesn’t want to do. This calls for sneaky tactics because if anything smacks of handwriting ‘practice’, my 6-year-old balks. He does not like anything he considers ‘work.’ (I know, aren’t you jealous?)
My oldest and youngest could no be more opposite. My older son was eagerly writing at age 4. Remember this categorization activity he made up himself? He used to write the state names for fun! Well, the tables are turned on me now!
Whether or not you have a child that also hates handwriting practice, I hope the following ideas are helpful for you. I’ve gathered some suggestions from his occupational therapist and teachers, as well as some other fun ideas from around the web (many of them also from OTs).
If you have any handwriting activities for kids that have worked for you, by all means share them in the comments! I can use all the assistance I can get.
Activities his occupational therapist and teacher have suggested:
- Write “bathroom words”. Seriously. I am not above letting my son write the word “fart” 10 times, if it means he is writing.
When he wants me to remember something, I ask him to write me a note so I don’t forget.
I leave him secret messages that he has to decode.
I encourage him to do activities that relate to his interests. For example, he can make his own Pokemon cards.
According to his teacher, drawing is also good (if he is willing; remember, he “hates art”). The main purpose being to get him to pick up a writing implement. I had great success making a giant comic strip with him.
Other fun handwriting activities we’ve done:
- Handwriting practice with homemade cards (This post is about my older son, but I do this now with my 6 year old.)
- Letter writing with a Disney twist. (Now he professes, “Frozen is for girls.” [insert mom eyeroll] but this would work for other characters, too.)
- Star Wars handwriting practice.
- Learning letter formation with magnet alphabet cards. While these don’t require a pen or pencil, they help kids who are forming letters awkwardly, which is the case around here.
Ideas from Occupational Therapists around the web:
- DIY pencil control worksheets from Sugar Aunts.
- Write on a light box. I have got to make one of these. From Sugar Aunts
- Sensory handwriting practice with a pen at Sugar Aunts.
- Working on pre-writing shapes at In the Playroom.
- Ingenious trick to develop better pencil grasp from My Mundane and Miraculous Life.
- Practice lines with firework handwriting from Therapy Fun Zone.
- Draw and write about a monster from Therapy Fun Zone.
Clever cat trick from Learn with Play at Home
Quick tip about tall, short and tail letters from The Inspired Treehouse.”