Handwriting is a great way to help your child develop fine motor skills as well as provide them with a multi-sensory opportunity while learning. Handwriting helps with strengthening your child’s hands, improving their fine motor precision and accuracy, as well as improving their visual-motor and hand-eye coordination skills. Handwriting is a multi-sensory activity that involves visually tracking what they are writing/drawing with their eyes and communicating the shapes, letters, and words that they write with their brains. This can also help children learn to read! If your child is beginning to show interest in coloring/writing, begin with simple shapes, lines, and tracing letters. Allow your child to scribble on the paper and explore how coloring/handwriting works while providing them with a multi-sensory experience. Writing is a task that many children find to be difficult or they don’t deem it is as fun.
Here are some creative, messy and engaging ways to have your child practice writing their name, letters, numbers, or pre-writing shapes (vertical/horizontal lines, cross, square, triangle, diagonals, “X”) while having fun!
- Add glue, glitter, and/or yarn when tracing/forming letters and shapes
- Use a highlighter for tracing
- Trace or write their name with paint and Q-tips
- Squeeze glitter glue as they trace
- Use stickers or dot markers to trace name
- Rainbow Writing & Drawing
- Child can write their name over and over again in different colored crayons or markers to create a rainbow
- Use various paint colors for writing their name or drawing shapes
- Chalk or Dry Erase Board
- Practice writing their name using chalk or dry erase markers
- Erase each letter away by tracing over it again
- Make a Sensory Squishy Bag
- Fill zip-loc bag with paint, hair gel, etc. to practice writing letters and shapes with their finger on top of the bag
- Salt Sensory Tray
- Fill a cookie sheet with salt, flour, rice, shaving cream, etc. and have child use finger to draw on it
Glue/Salt/Paint Name Writing Activity:
Here is another fun activity to practice writing!
- White or Clear Glue
- Watercolor Paint (or food color and water to make watercolor paint)
- Table Salt
- Pipettes/droppers (or paint brush if you do not have)
- Water dish if using paint brush
- Card stock, construction paper, or thin cardboard
- A tray or baking sheet
Step 1: On a piece of paper (cardstock, cardboard, construction paper), write your child’s name in a light-colored marker, pencil, or pen
Step 2: Have your child squeeze the glue to trace over each letter of their name
Step 3: Have your child sprinkle salt with their fingers over each letter on top of the glue
Step 4: Gently shake the access salt off the paper after each letter is covered
Step 5: Use a pipette/dropper or a paintbrush to drop colored paint/water mixture on top of the salt for each letter. The color should begin to spread along the salt! Try not to push too hard with the paintbrush, just gently brush the top of the salt and watch the colors spread!
-Kelsey Shanks, OTR/L