Handwriting Activities for Kids Who Hate Handwriting : 35 Ideas

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Do you have a child who loves handwriting? That’s wonderful!  I have three who aren’t so crazy about it so I spend a lot of time thinking about new handwriting activities for kids who hate handwriting. We rarely use worksheets, mainly because my kids react to them as if they are covered in germs. 

Last week, a friend asked for “practical, real world applications”–not worksheets– for her 7-year-old daughter “who hates handwriting practice (but needs it).”  She posted her query on the Creekside Learning Facebook page and she got some really awesome responses.  Here they are, along with more things I’ve done with my own children, and links from some awesome bloggers who have also written about the topic. 

UPDATE: This post has inspired a book! I began to research handwriting challenges even further, to talk to many other parents whose children hate handwriting and to gather all the ways we’ve successfully met these challenges in our house. The result is When Your Child Hates Handwriting: Peaceful, Practical Solutions for Parents.

The book has more activity ideas, more ways to approach handwriting practice and what how to help your child when you suspect a deeper problem exists. 

Click on the photo below for more information and to order. Available in print, ebook and kindle versions. 

handwriting worksheets

And now, onto the ideas.

35 non-worksheet ideas for kids who hate handwriting

Here’s the Facebook thread  where some of these awesome ideas came from. Thank you to those who responded with great suggestions! You all are part of a great community that helps each other and it makes me smile. 

I’m speaking about this topic in depth (and more) at the Well Trained Mind On Line Conference. $20 for 3 sessions that you can watch from your couch! Come join us.

Handwriting Activities for Kids Who Hate Handwriting

      1. Find a pen pal. (Great place to find your child a pen pal:  your Facebook friends list!)
      2. Make lists: grocery lists, lists of favorite t.v. shows, favorite types of dogs, whatever is of most interest.
      3. Write with fingers on a cookie sheet of shaving cream, flour, rice, or salt.
      4. Write on a dry erase board or a chalkboard.
      5. Write in the air with fingers.
      6. Rainbow writing:  write a word and then trace it with different colors.
      7. Keep a book journal. Write a sentence or two of their choice from a book they choose and draw a picture to go with it.  (from Rebecca at The Golden Gleam)
      8. Write letters to grandparents, family or friends far away.
      9. Mad Libs!
      10. Q-Tips, chalk and water writing.
      11. Use window markers or dry-erase markers on windows or mirrors. 
      12. Bath crayons in the tub.
      13. Write with glue.
      14. Use disappearing ink or invisible ink to write secret messages.
      15. Sidewalk chalk on the driveway.
      16. Window tracing.
      17. Set up a writing center. 
      18. Use a paintbrush and water on a chalkboard or outside in the driveway (and more ideas).
      19. Use your finger to write in the carpet (and 11 more ideas).
      20. Write with spaghetti. 
      21. Have an older child teach a younger child how to write something specific.
      22. Keep a conversation journal: Parent and child write back and forth to each other.
      23. Make gift tags to practice writing names and Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, etc.
      24. Make a fancy feather pen like Fancy Nancy.
      25. Write with a stick in the dirt or in sand at the beach.
      26. Create a mini joke book.
      27. Sensory salt tray and writing with a candy cane. Or try a Gingerbread Salt tray, too. 
      28. Start Nature Journaling.
      29. Use a drawing app on a tablet and write words with your finger or a stylus.
      30. Fill a ziplock bag with paint or hair gel and write with your finger.
      31. Draw a map of your house, neighborhood, or town and label places on the map.
      32. Make birthday cards or holiday cards.
      33. Play pretend restaurant and make a menu (plus 6 more great ideas). 
      34. Write on a AquaDoodle or MagnaDoodle.
      35. Use a Family Mailbox to write letters to each other.

More handwriting practice ideas.

handwriting help
 Tips for perfectionist writers.
handwriting worksheets