25 MORE Fun Handwriting Practice Ideas – No Worksheets
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Ditch the worksheets for some fun handwriting practice. For kids who really, really dislike handwriting practice (perhaps who may have handwriting challenges), I shared 35 ideas in my original non-worksheet handwriting post. This post became so popular that I wrote a book called When Your Child Hates Handwriting: Peaceful Practical Solutions for Parents. It’s available in print and as an ebook.
Here are 25 more ways to make handwriting practice go smoothly.
- Have a deck? Write on it with chalk. The deck boards make perfect lines, just like paper.
- Try some great apps on your tablet like Writing Wizard, which allows the user to customize the colors and textures of the letters. Use a stylus instead of a finger, as this encourages proper pencil grip. We like these universal styluses that work with all touch screens.
- Use a set of straight and curved wood pieces to make letters. This set from Handwriting Without Tears has been well loved in our house. In fact, they have many hands-on products that give a multi-sensory approach to handwriting, especially great for kids who find handwriting challenging.
- Use a paint brush and washable paint on the sidewalk or driveway.
- Bring a paint brush poolside and use water to write on the dry pool deck.
- Leave post-it note messages back and forth with your child. Ask questions or knock-knock jokes.
- Try nature journaling. Even if your child chooses to mostly draw pictures, encourage him or her to label them: “bird”, “daisy”, “cloud”. Better yet, get your own journal and do this together.
- Switch to cursive. It uses a completely different part of the brain than printing. Many children who find printing challenging have an easier time with cursive. Come back to printing practice after doing cursive for a while. You may notice improvements or that your child is less challenged by printing after using cursive.
- Paint in the bath tub or shower. The paint is simply shaving cream with a little washable tempera paint. Test this on your grout first. Even washable paint can stain unsealed grout.
- Be a Kid Entrepreneur: Think making signs for a lemonade stand, a price list for a dog washing business, a flyer to pass out to the neighbors about yard work help.
- Use the Wet-Dry-Try technique from Handwriting Without Tears. Using a small chalkboard, write the letter with a small piece of sponge, go over it with a dry paper towel, then go over it again with chalk. We are big fans of HWOT at our house. I’ve tried other programs and keep coming back to this one. Their hands-on approach has proved very helpful with my child who has dysgraphia and my other child who has dyslexia.
- Write on a trampoline with chalk. (Credit goes to reader Raewyn Edwards for this great suggestion!)
- Go to a new place to practice writing: The park to nature journal, the coffee shop to write a letter to someone far away. Do this together with your child. It’s so much more fun that way!
- Try “Free Writing”. This is another one to do together. Set the timer and free write whatever comes to your mind for 5 minutes. If you don’t know what to write, write “I don’t know what to write.” until something else comes to mind. Credit goes to the Brave Writer program for this, and many other wonderful writing ideas.
- Draw blueprints! Have your child draw a map of your house, a map of his or her Minecraft world, an elaborate fort you plan to build together.
- Drawing, especially in detail, encourages handwriting, too. Think of the curves and lines that must be drawn just so to make a picture.
- Write on a mirror with dry erase or wet erase markers. Sit on the bathroom counter and write and draw on the mirror. Leave messages to each other.
- Try copy work. Copy work can be as simple as one word (for a young writer) or a sentence from a favorite book or movie (for an older writer). For example: “Who are you and what have you done with Hermione Granger?” or whatever your child finds inspirational. I have one child who likes to copy silly nonsense words that we make up and another who copies text out of Little House on the Prairie.
- Mud writing! Find or make some mud (outside, of course), put it on a tray or cookie sheet and write in it with a stick.
- Make disappearing ink in your kitchen. This combines handwriting and science. Here’s the easy recipe.
- Icing writing. Fill an icing bag or plastic ziplock bag with a small corner snipped off. Write on cookies or a cake. Works best with cursive. A handwriting project you can eat for desert!
- Form letters with play dough or clay. This works on strengthening hand muscles as well as gives letter formation practice.
- Decode messages. This kit from Melissa & Doug looks like fun.
- Print blank comic book pages and get creative.
- Paint the fence! Hang paper on the fence and paint letters and words. Or paint right on the fence with washable tempera paint.
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