Handwriting Activities and Ideas
Learning to write is hard work and involves building up finger muscles and confidence. The activities below will do both of those and should provide an element of fun, laughter and mess.
Start with copying shapes, pictures of things they like and then move onto handwriting patterns (examples below) and finally letters.
The child listens to some music, and at the same time on a piece of paper make marks/patterns. Get them to think about what shapes they think the music is making, what colours they could use and the speed that they write. Do it with different types of music, different sizes of paper, different types of writing implements. Just make marks to music!
Using playdough (if you have not got any, just create your own with a flour, salt and water – if you want to be really posh, you could add food colouring!), roll it into a very long worm and then create shapes, patterns etc. On a piece of paper draw a large cursive letter and see if they can lay the long worm around the letter outline.
Body Writing 1
On a piece of paper an adult draws 3 symbols e.g 3 shapes, 3 numbers or 3 letters. The child has to choose one of the 3 symbols and write it on the adults back with a finger. The adult has to guess which symbol from the 3 it is.
Body Writing 2
The child draws a shape, letter, number etc on an adults back and the adult has to draw the symbol on a piece of paper. The child checks to see if it the symbol is correct.
If you have chalks, have a go at handwriting patterns, shapes and letters outside on a pavement etc.
Take some paper outside. Make some runny mud. Find a stick and have a go at mud mark making.
On a dark flat dish/container squirt some shaving foam. Using a finger/stick or anything pointy, have a go at making shapes, patterns, letters etc in the foam.
Flour / Sand Writing
As with foam writing, sprinkle some dry sand or flour on a dark coloured dish/container and with a finger make some marks.
Follow the leader Writing
Using any of the above or a pencil on paper, an adult begins to draw a line (wiggly, straight, zig zag etc, move onto including simple cursive letters with the child not even knowing e.g. c, e,f, I, l, o, s, v, w, z) and the child has to follow on the adults line a few centimetres behind. Take it in turns being the leader.
Paint Brush Writing
Get the children to paint the fences / walls / paving stones with water using an old paint brush. Start with painting and watching the colour change and then you can move on to patterns and shapes and finally letters.
Handwriting Pattern Sheets
If they do want to do a ‘worksheet’, you could print off or make a few handwriting pattern ones (some attached – I can always provide more).
Other Fun Activities That Help Develop Handwriting
The Peg Game
Clip a peg (or pegs) in random places on the child's clothes. The aim of the game is for the child to unclip the peg (or pegs) as quickly as possible. Take it in turns to have a go!
If you really want a giggle... have a go at the Dough Disco.
Give your child a piece of play dough or salt dough and let them join in with Shonette Bason.
Shonette really is like that - I have met her in real life!!
Tweezer & Chopstick Games
Put some small objects in a bowl. The children have to move the objects from one bowl to another bowl only using tweezers or chopsticks. The game is even better if it involves food that the children can eat e.g. popcorn! Make it a race or a timed activity and see if you can do any better.
Squirting Water 1
Fill a bowl with water. Using a pipette or turkey baster the children have to empty the water into another bowl as fast as they can. This can also be done using a small water trigger sprayer.
Squirting water 2
Using a pipette, turkey baster or trigger water sprayer, the children have to knock objects off a wall/box (outside). Give the objects points and they can keep score - simple maths at the same time.
Any form of threading is good for their fine motor control.
Try threading beads, buttons, Cheerios, short sections of drinking straws, polos, pasta or anything with a hole in it.
Hole punch a piece of card lots of times and get them to thread a pattern across the card.
Have you ever tried threading a cullender? Let the children have a go!
Draw some wiggly lines, zig zag lines or straight lines on a scrap piece of paper. The children have to use scissors and cut along the line carefully.
Challenge your child to tear a piece of paper into as many small pieces as they can.
They can then count how many they did - more maths!
Tin Foil Worms
Give your a child a piece of tin foil. Can they squeeze / shape it into a worm?
Perhaps they can make other creatures?