Remembering how to write letters correctly and being able to do so neatly is proving a little tricky for our girls (who are in Grade one) at the moment. Not being able to write as quickly or as well as they’d like is proving frustrating as their handwriting can’t keep up with their reading, spelling or imaginations. So I put the call out via twitter last week for some ideas and activities to make practising writing and proper letter formation fun and I got lots of great ideas!
Marita from Stuff With Thing and Mummy MacTavish (from Samster.com) suggested writing in shaving cream or other sensory activities and I think the idea to use multi-sensory approach is a great way to help them really feel the correct letter formation, and it’s fun! We’ve used finger paint on a clear plastic table cloth and started out sliding a printed sheet underneath the plastic with the correct letter formation arrows etc. then just writing letters on our own. We also used a similar approach with a sand tray.
Mummy MacTavish also suggested using bath crayons as another, fun and different want to encourage writing. I found this great recipe for home made bath crayons that we will have to try sometime!
Vegemite (aka Sue from 2 kids +2 dogs + a puppy = pandemonium) suggested water painting letters onto concrete, or using side walk paint. Here is a recipe for home made sidewalk paint.
Clever Sue also suggested mnemonics – little rhymes and sayings to help the girls remember how to write each letter. We’ve been using some of these but also making up some of our own.
There are lots of printable worksheets online, but often they are the same old things kids have done before. So, to mix it up and bit and to target some specific letters the girls have trouble with I’ve been using this cool site that lets you create your own handwriting work sheets. I’ve also printed off lots of copies of their handwriting paper with the space above and made them into books so the girls can write and illustrate a story.
My Twitter friends had lots more great suggestions for ways to make practising writing fun and interesting:
Playing hang man.
Drawing shapes and patterns.
Writing a shopping list or wish list.
Writing a story or a play.
Writing letters (we write to a goblin – more on that soon).
Using fancy coloured pens or pencils.
Writing on different things – a note book, black board, white board etc.
Writing with a blunt pencil in rolled out play dough.
And of course any activity that encourages or practices fine motor (small muscle) control is good for handwriting skills.
Do you have any new ideas for us to try? What’s your favourite activity to encourage handwriting practice?