How to Work on Handwriting without Paper or Pencil

There are many fun ways to address handwriting skills, fine motor skills, the development of an appropriate grasp pattern, as well as focus on how to form letters of the alphabet without using paper and pencil. Below, I've listed ideas to address handwriting that will keep your child engaged and make handwriting a more enjoyable task!

  1. Put shaving cream on a table or on the wall of the bathtub and practice writing letters or words. Check out the blog photo for an example!
  2. Use Wikki sticks or pipe cleaners to make letters
  3. Play with Play Doh to form letters, words, or shapes
  4. Crumple tissue paper, then use glue to cover the letter
  5. Form letters with blocks
  6. Use tongs or tweezers to pinch and pick up small objects such as pom poms. This will strengthen the muscles needed for writing!
  7. Use sensory trays filled with sand, salt, sprinkles, or kinesthetic sand. You can use your index finger or paintbrush to form pre-writing lines, shapes, letters, or words.
  8. Squeeze hair gel in a Ziploc bag
  9. Use glue to form letters or words
  10. Use sidewalk chalk as a fun way to get outside and practice writing!
  11. Use push pins to outline letters
  12. Drive toy cars over letters
  13. Walk or crawl over letters following the path of the letter
  14. Trace letters with your feet
  15. Hop along letter lines
  16. Write letters on dry erase boards
  17. Complete writing with sandpaper under it
  18. Hide letters in sensory box, then complete writing on a dry erase board or with chalk
  19. Sponge paint letters
  20. Complete writing with a vibrating pen
  21. Use a light bright geoboard to form letters. This allows the wrist to be extended and promotes the use of the pincer grasp. This is the proper grasp for a writing utensil!
  22. Form letters on vertical dry erase board, then let the child erase the letters with a q-tip or use the end of the marker eraser. This also focuses on the proper fine pincer grasp!
  23. Place beads on top of a letter mat. This also addresses fine motor skills.
  24. Place stickers on the letters, focusing on proper letter formation

Good luck, and have fun!

-Krystan Inman, COTA

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