First Friday Q&A: Make Handwriting Practice Fun and Playful!

I’m taking a little break as we welcome our fourth son to our family.  Enjoy this First Friday Q&A from last year (also available at YouTube here).

Here are some ideas for helping children build handwriting skills in novel and playful ways.  Watch the video and then add your ideas in the comments section.  (Bonus for those watching carefully during the mirror segment:  You’ll see the pile of clothes my boys dropped as they raced out to the Slip ‘n Slide.)

Handwriting Helps

Build Small Motor Skills:

Fine Motor Skills Page {PreKinders} Tons of ideas here!

Handwriting {PreK Pages}  Tips through the whole writing process – from FM skills to putting pencil to paper.

Letter Formation:

Tactile Letters Kit
Wikki Stix Alphabet Fun Cards for Learning

Pencil Grip:

Preschool Song: Teaching Proper Pencil Grip

Pencil Grip: How to Teach Your Child How to Hold a Pencil Properly

Fun writing tools and surfaces:

Chalk and Chalkboard


Whiteboard Markers

  • On Sheet Protectors
  • On Picture Frames

Add the picture after you frame it up in preschool {Teach Preschool}

  • On Windows

Dry Erase on Windows {Tinker Lab}  (I want to draw on those huge window-walls too!)

  • On Mirrors

Even Chapstick!

Daddy Daddy ABCs {Happy Little Messes}


Writing in the Salt {NJC}

Shaving Cream

  • On a table top
  • In a cookie sheet or tray
  • In the shower or bath (keep it out of eyes)
  • Inside baggie — Or try Paint Bag Writing from Let’s Explore — Fantastic Idea!

Change Up the Position of the Writing Surface:

  • On table top or lap
  • On wall or easel
  • On floor or sidewalk
  • On underside of table
  • Go 360 inside a big box!

Give a Reason for Writing:

Sign Me Up!  Meaningful Ways to Encourage Preschoolers to Write Their Names {NJC}

Writing Center Ideas {Modern Parents Messy Kids}

How do you make handwriting practice fun and playful?



Filed under Building Readers, Learning through Play and Experience

4 Responses to First Friday Q&A: Make Handwriting Practice Fun and Playful!

  1. here’s a weird thing — my daughter who is 10 has a scrawl when she prints BUT has beautiful cursive. She hates cursive and it’s been too challenging to force her to do it with tears, I think she’s slower so that makes her frustrated. Her OT says that the cursive letters are easier for reasons that I totally forget – something about visual and looping. Isn’t that interesting? We’re going to try again with cursive this summer to see if she can get faster and use cursive instead of printing.

  2. A child who I tutor has an easier time with cursive than print because of it’s fluid nature. Cursive by nature is “sing song” the student does not have to lift his/her pencil frequently to “hop to the top” or add additional strokes with most letters.
    Here are a couple of suggestions that may help:
    1. Have her skywrite the letters (I have my students use finger puppets at
    2. Make up songs as she writes the letters.
    3. Have her write on a 3 in notebook or slant board.
    4. Have your daughter write with a short, very sharp pencil.

    With many kids I tutor and to get them to find handwriting more fun, I play games with them like:
    cursive tic-tac-toe
    cursive hangman
    cursive trouble (they write the number they get on the die when popping the “pop-o-matic”.

    If letter size is an issue, I recommend triple lined paper until the student has mastered the variant heights of letters then allow them to use double lined paper.

    I hope this helps.

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