As COTA we know that OT activities for handwriting are important.
Sometimes we struggle to come up with fresh ideas and repeating the same handwriting activities can become monotonous.
When we work in a school setting it is important that we offer our students a variety to keep them engaged.
Regardless of the place that an OTA works, you may find yourself working with children and these ideas could come in handy.
Today we will share 5 simple but fun OT activities for handwriting improvement with children that aren’t boring.
Hopefully, these fresh ideas will help you mix things up and get better results.
1. Handwriting Warm-Up Exercises
It is always best to begin with handwriting warm up exercises prior to begining the handwriting activities.
Try these at home or in the classroom.
- Chair Sit-Ups: While sitting in a chair, place kids hands on either side of hips, have them push down and raise their bodies off the chair.
- Hand Press: Have kids press their flat palms down hard on their desktops.
- Hand Rubs: Have kids briskly rub their hands together warming them up and massaging them
- Finger Push-Ups: With finger tips touching the fingertips from the opposite hand perform finger push ups.
- Ball Pass: Pass around a 2-3 lb weighted exercise ball
- Rubber Band Stretch: Wrap a band around the finger and thumb and stretch it by spreading the two fingers.
- Rhythm Clapping: Have students mimic a rhythm that you clap.
2. Handwriting Activity Improving Letter Formation
Practicing handwriting should be fun!
Using colored pencils with vivid, fun, and bright colors make the activity into an enjoyable game of sorts that children will want to do.
All the while they will be improving their letter formation skills and ability to control and apply pencil pressure.
For this handwriting activity explain to the kids that this is a letter formation exercise. During the learning period for children practicing letter formation, a great exercise is to write letters backward or in reverse.
Start out with easy letters that have reverse counterparts, such as b = d and g = q. Then just have the kids practice the entire alphabet in reverse.
They won’t mind the work, afterall they’re having fun using colored pencils 🙂
3. Handwriting Activity Improving Pencil Pressure
This activity also works on pencil pressure, which is an important handwriting skill for kids.
Pencil pressure will greatly impact the legibility of a child’s writing.
Too much pencil pressure leads to smudged letters, reduced legibility, torn paper, and hard to erase errors.
On the flipside, too light of pencil pressure produces writing that is difficult and sometimes impossible to read.
This activity is for children who use too much pencil pressure.
Have the kids write a sentence on their notebook. Then have them flip one page back, which will place a blank page over their sentence.
If they can see their letters through the page, then they are using too much pressure.
Have them write the sentence again, this time adjusting their pressure. Then flip the page and assess again to see if they need further adjustment.
4. Handwriting Activity Improving Pencil Control
For this handwriting activity, the kids will practice pencil control.
Pencil control is required for “keeping it between the lines’ – literally.
Meaning, this is what enables the kids to keep the height of their letters within the line spacing on the page.
Good pencil control skills require good visual motor skills.
For this activity, use a ruler to draw 1-inch lines on a piece of paper. Make multiple rows of lines.
Give the students colored pencils and tell them to draw random connections, lines, between the rows of lines that you drew.
It is really that simple, by “connecting the lines” like “connecting the dots” the kids will be practicing and improving their pencil control.
5. Practice Handwriting With Everyday Activities
Here are some everyday activities that you and your kiddos can use to practice handwriting at home or school:
- Make a grocery list
- Make an important To-Do Note for later
- Make a complete To-Do list for a day or weekend or project
- Write out the steps to do something (Like making a PB&J)
Try dictating the above items to your kids and have them write them down to practice their handwriting skills.
What Are You Waiting For?
Well, there you go, 5 simple and fun OT activities for handwriting improvement with kids.
It is time to gather the kiddos and start practicing those important handwriting skills with these fun and effective handwriting activities.
If you have more ideas for handwriting activities, drop a comment below to share them with everyone 🙂