We all have students or clients with handwriting challenges and we all know that it can be a struggle to engage some students in handwriting instruction. However, handwriting doesn't need to be tedious to have fun! We can keep a high expectation for students and also have fun!
Below are 30 creative handwriting ideas - from handwriting legibility to simple daily handwriting strategies! Add all or some of them to your handwriting toolbox.
1. Letter Formation Activities
Use these creative writing tray ideas! A fun handwriting activity that is also sensory-based and engages visual-motor skills. Create a foam tray or bags filled with sand, gel, or shaving cream and have students practice writing letters or words.
Learn more: Gradeschool Giggles
2. Trace It, Try It App
There are many aspects to handwriting. One of them is letter formation and knowing what path to follow. This interactive application helps students to recognize the starting point for each letter and its correct formation.
Learn more: This Reading Mama
3. Cursive Handwriting Activity
If you want to create excellent handwriting in the cursive form, students need practice. This activity for handwriting skills is a simple dice game. It's a fun way to get students practicing and it can be done with a partner or independently.
Learn more: Free Homeschool Ideas
4. Sensory Writing Tray
This sensory tray activity also deals with fine motor skills. Students use beans to create letters or words in rice. The beans are small and force students to use their "writing muscles" without them even knowing it.
Learn more: Fantastic Fun and Learning
5. Rewiring the Brain Handbook Activities
If you have children with handwriting struggles, this handbook will help. It gives you ideas that are not age-based, but ability-based that will help improve common handwriting skills in 20 minutes a day.
Learn more: Integrated Learning Strategies
6. Cursive Practice
This is an activity for correct letter formation of cursive letters. This cursive handwriting journal allows students multiple ways of practice - from writing isolated letters to using the letters in words/sentences. It also includes a checklist for students to self-check their work to make sure they are completing the task thoroughly.
Learn more: The Sprinkle Topped Teacher
7. Game Using Pencil Grips
This is a fun letter formation activity that also includes using pencil grips. Students can practice using different grips while they play "Minute to Win It!". Students are first allowed to practice the correct letter formation, then they have 60 seconds to correctly write the letter as many times as they can. The activity also helps with endurance in handwriting.
Learn more: Mrs. Will Kindergarten
8. Writing Wizard App
This app helps with the development of handwriting skills. It has a variety of ways for students to practice learning to write; including letters formations with starting points and writing letters correctly within words.
Learn more: L'Escapadou
9. Letter Formation for Pre-School
While many younger students may not be using a writing pencil just yet, they still need to begin their handwriting development. This activity is more like play for preschool-age students where they learn about letter formation by using blocks or other toys to "trace" letter shapes. It also helps with grip strength.
Learn more: Normal Life Mom
10. Rainbow Roll Letter Writing
This handwriting printable is a simple yet fun activity for letter formation. Students get to use dice and colors to practice their letter writing. You can also adapt this "rainbow writing" for older students by having them write spelling words.
Learn more: ABCDee Learning
11. Following Paths
Help students form letters by first practicing how to follow a path. They can trace different shapes or paths - zig-zags, waves, etc - to help them prepare to form letters. You can also put these in a clear sleeve and have students first trace with their pointer finger, and then with a dry erase.
Learn more: Kids Activities
12. Daily Handwriting Skills
This book includes daily handwriting warm-up exercises. If you don't have time to plan a handwriting lesson each day, this book is already scaffolded and includes quick practice for each day of the week.
For students who struggle with spacing between letters or words, this site provides activities to help! For example, you can use finger spacing that is visualized by stamping fingers or using graph paper to neatly write and space properly.
Learn more: Kids Play Smarter
14. Adaptive Paper
An essential addition to your handwriting curriculum is the use of adaptive writing paper. Depending on the need of the student, you can have various types of paper to help support students in handwriting. The shaded paper is good for students who need to understand letter placement and sizing on the lines or for handwriting accommodation strategies.
Learn more: OT Enrichment
15. Handwriting and Play
This site includes fun games for handwriting practice ideas that are incorporated into a game board. You can play tic-tac-toe with letter formation or for older students adapt games like Scrabble or Bananagrams to include writing practice.
Learn more: Miss Jaime OT
16. Chalkboard Letters
You can use a strategy called, "Wet, Dry, Try". You first use a wet sponge to shape the letter on the board, then the student uses a piece of wet chalk (it makes it easier to write) and traces it, and finally, once the student understands the correct letter formation, they write it independently.
Learn more: Understood
17. Intro to Cursive App
When writing in cursive, many students struggle with letter formation mistakes. There is an app to help with this that scaffolds lessons for learning appropriate cursive formation. Students will first work on the formation of independent letters, then they can practice writing them when they are in the initial, middle, or end of a word.
Learn more: Higher Ground Education Inc.
18. Forming Letters
This simple piece of paper is a great component of handwriting lessons and helps to guide students to correct letter formation for lower and upper case letters. First, it models the starting point and letter formation path. Then it gives the starting point with a trace line, then just the starting point, and finally only lines.
Learn more: DIY Homeschooler
19. Letter Sorting
Help improve handwriting by having students practice sorting letters by attributes. This allows students to master the differences in letterforms - capital letters, lower case, tail letters, etc - and will prepare them for proper handwriting.
Learn more: Learning at the Primary Pond
20. Pencil Paths
This simple skill helps students to improve their motor skills and pencil use. It lets them work on following lines, which is important for beginners as they progress into letter formation and need to follow more difficult paths.
Learn more: Therapy Fun Zone
21. Sensory Letters
These letters are great for sensory handwriting experiences. You can use them for learning letters of the alphabet or practicing correct letter formation and aids in memory for letter formation too. Great for both print and cursive too!
Learn more: Rainy Day Mum
22. Tactile Letters
These are great for tactile learners! They have bumps on them that help students "feel" the letter path. You can also make a homemade version of these using plastic magnetic letters and a hot glue gun. Or if you don't have magnets, use card stock and create hot glue gun letters by creating bumps with the glue.
23. Handwriting Tips
The link provides tips and information to help support your students' handwriting skill-building. It includes tips like paper positioning and is focused on helping older students improve handwriting. It offers a free guidebook.
Learn more: The Happy Handwriter
24. Hand Strength
Building hand strength is important in writing. Students must be able to grip the writing utensil appropriately, use pressure, and have stamina. While these activities are not directly about handwriting, they are important in helping to build the hand strength needed for handwriting - plus they are fun and easy!
Learn more: The Inspired Treehouse
25. Writing Utensils
Help engage students with handwriting issues by using this fun and easy activity! It helps with handwriting and addresses pencil pressure by allowing students to feel the pressure they need by writing in different mediums (a crayon needs more pressure, while a marker needs less).
Learn more: Oh Hey Let's Play
26. Pencil Grasp Stages
This is great for understanding pencil grasp in handwriting. It explains the level of development with pencil grasp and how to use developmental motor planning to create lessons that will help support students with control in handwriting.
Learn more: Days With Grey
27. Distal Finger Control
This includes a variety of distal finger control exercises. All of the exercises are fun for students, but easy for educators or parents to access as they use items you can easily find around the house, like using nuts and bolts to gain distal control pinching clothespins.
Learn more: OT Plan
28. Clever Cat Trick
One of my favorite handwriting activities is teaching about Clever Cat! It is such a simple visual to help remind students of the formation of letters and their awareness of handwriting. It also helps keep attention during handwriting tasks because they can "check-in" with Clever and with the accuracy of letter placement on lines.
Learn more: Oh Kei by Keiko
29. Board Games
This site gives several ideas on how to use a board game to work on handwriting. It includes ideas for different levels - from beginning writers who need to work on things like palmer arches strength to actual letter writing for older kids.
Learn more: Woo Therapy
30. Pencil Grasp Trick
This activity for handwriting addresses pencil grip, which can impact letter formation. The video will teach you a pencil grasp trick that you can use with students, which is a game-changer for some students who struggle with handwriting.
Learn more: Jess - My OT & Me