Fun ways to encourage improved handwriting in children

Posted in Parenting by

At our meeting with Ava’s amazing teacher yesterday, we also discussed different ways to encourage her to practise her writing, without it seeming like we’re pushing or forcing her. With my own education history, I have a huge issue with this. I won’t force her, I won’t scream and shout and get frustrated. She is FIVE years old. Still just a little girl and I refuse to push her like that and create a negative environment for learning. Her teacher agrees, she says that any negativity will stop the learning process.

So I’ve been researching some fun ways she can practise her writing without it seeming like she’s actually working, trying to create an environment of fun learning, which should open her up to being more receptive to learning and trying.

Some of the tips I picked up while researching included:

  • “Let’s play a game”….. Instead of saying “let’s play a writing game” or “let’s do homework”, this should encourage a positive learning environment, one where she will get positive one on one time with either Walter or I without creating any negativity around learning.
  • Keep the games short…. She already gets bored quickly, especially when she’s struggling with something, so an activity need not be any longer than 10 minutes.
  • Positive encouragement and reminding her how proud we are of her and her efforts and sharing her writing efforts with for eg: her Granny, will help reinforce the positive message behind all the practise.
  • Quit when it stops being fun, if it’s not fun, she’s not going to learn and all we’re going to do is continue to reinforce negativity around learning.

Here are some of the great ideas I got from family and friends and online too:

  • Paint the inside of her cupboard door with blackboard paint and allow her to write messages and explore her creativity in there.
  • Chalk writing on the tiles on our outdoor area, which can be easily cleaned off.
  • Using other mediums for letter creation, like string on a pinboard to create the letters, or finger painting onto a plastic tray to create the letters. I also like the idea of tracing the letters on a sheet of paper pressed to a window on a sunny day and even things as simple as writing in sand with a stick or her finger with and on a tray.
  • There are also the more obvious ways, which will probably be some of her favorite too, like writing apps on her leappad and writing games on our tablet and cell phone.

I found these great ones:

`Writing Wizard

Little Writer

Here is another comprehensive list of writing apps for kids –

There are also a great host of free resources available online too, like these Letter, Sound Tracing sheets I found via Pinterest on The Reading Mama.

I’ve created a board on Pinterest for creative writing ideas for kids, you can follow it here –

Follow Sharon Van Wyk’s board Writing Ideas For Kids on Pinterest.


September 23, 2015
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  • Reply nunu5

    Thanks very useful. I have a 6yr old who is not interested in details and so needs to be encouraged to form letters properly in fun ways. i ordered little writing books from your post about readers warehouse books and he loves them as they are write and wipe. I also give him a star for each page completed and they add up to a treat … outing or new ipad game.

    September 23, 2015 at 12:40 pm
    • Reply nunu5

      mostly though he enjoys the attention while I help him get it right.

      September 23, 2015 at 12:41 pm
  • Reply Vanessa

    Hi Sharon
    Have you got her a leap pad? Our son used this he was quite young can’t remember how young. The app let’s them draw the number. And I think it’s the app that comes with the game. Something to do with pets . He is in gr 1 now. His writing is very good. Good luck!

    September 23, 2015 at 8:53 pm
  • Reply Heather

    Try and do really big letters on the floor with masking tape, use tactile things for her to trace like felt or sandpaper. Get off the writing and rather into tracing. We have a nice app on the Ipad Kid’s academy.

    September 23, 2015 at 9:09 pm
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