Handwriting Activities for Beginning Writers

Good penmanship promotes strong literacy skills and success in various academic subjects. Here are creative activities for young scribblers.
By Linda DiProperzio



Be An Artist. “Children who draw often tend to write better because drawing exercises their fine motor skills,” says Jan Z. Olsen, creator of Handwriting Without Tears (hwtears.com). For variety, let your child make shaving cream pictures on the tub wall during bathtime or doodle on the driveway with sidewalk chalk.

Build Food Letters. Help your child better understand the shapes and lines that make up each letter by building a few with food. Use green beans, for example, to make an A.

Send Secret Messages. Ask your child to trace a word onto your back using his finger; then guess what he’s writing, suggests Paula Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., an expert in manual movement in children at Assumption College in Worcester, MA.

Play Hangman. Writing out each letter slowly as the game progresses gives your child a chance to focus on individual characters. Add a twist: at the end of each round, ask your child to write — slowly — a short sentence using the word.

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Photo Credit: Tim Flach/Getty Images

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