Once children start to recognise letters, the next step is often to start forming letters and beginning to write words. The basis for handwriting skills starts long before that though, with all the fine motor activities that little hands take part in strengthening hand muscles ready to start gripping a pencil correctly and developing writing skills along the line.
There are so many fun ways to work on these early handwriting skills. Children wouldn’t even know that it was anything more than a fun game!
Once children are starting to write then there are fun ways to practise neatening up their handwriting too.
Today I’m featuring some activities from Nazrana, an occupational therapist over at handrighting.com and sharing a couple of other useful handwriting resources too.
Here are some of the fun exercises that help to develop key fine motor skills that will help your child’s handwriting.
Playdough and Toothpick Construction
This fun activity works on finger dexterity and bilateral coordination. You can find out more about this playdough and toothpicks construction activity here.
Ladybird Pin Letters
Learning to form letters in the right order, starting at the right places, is really important. It’s harder for kids to unlearn their mistakes and fix it later down the line, so its better to encourage the correct formation from the start.
Use small pins like these to form the letters which helps with finger dexterity as well as familiarising the child with the letter formation. See more about this ladybird letters activity here.
Spraying a water bottle
Using a spray bottle helps to develop hand strength which is vital for developing handwriting skills. Check out this fun water spray bottle activity for kids to play together in Summer. This activity was done on the swings, to help develop core stability at the same time. You could make lots of other fun summer outdoor games with the water spray bottle to practise lots of squeezing and strengthen those hands!
Building Lego Models
There are so many skills developed while playing with Lego, not just the fine motor practise that immediately springs to mind but lots more too. You can read more about those skills developed while playing with Lego here.
Colouring Bubble Letters
Colouring bubble letters gives a good opportunity to work on the tripod grip, as well as helping to develop an awareness of phonics. Read more about this bubble letters activity here.
For even more fun activities that help to develop handwriting skills you can download the Handright app developed by the same OT as the handrighting.com blog, but with lots more activities included in a really clear and easy to access format on your phone or tablet, for just $4.99
The app allows you to browse activities by type (focusing on the type of skills they develop) and create schedules for multiple children.
For work book based handwriting practise, we’ve also been using some of the “Penpals at home” books from Cambridge University Press. These are wipe clean books which focus on getting ready for handwriting, and then move onto forming letters.
- Penpals at home : Getting Ready for Handwriting on Amazon UK
- Penpals at home : Forming Letters on Amazon UK
- Penpals at home : Getting Ready for Handwriting on Amazon.com
- Penpals at home : Forming Letters on Amazon.com
These books also work alongside an app. You can scan the pages for more fun and learning with the free Penpals at home app, available on apple or android devices.
- Download Penpals at home on the app store here
- Download Penpals at home on the google play store here
Also check out this list of the best apps for letter formation
You might also like these hand writing and fine motor activities
- Working on Pre-Writing Shapes
- Sensory Bag for Writing Practice
- Fine Motor Sensory Hunt
- Fine Motor Jellyfish Craft
- Fabulous Fail-Proof Playdough Recipe – and 5 Brilliant Things to Do With It!