Working on handwriting at home can feel like a lose-lose battle for parents and children alike. It can be a challenging and/or least preferred activity for children, which makes it hard for parents to want to implement and follow through with. While handwriting is certainly an activity which your child’s occupational therapist or academic specialist can help with, it is extremely important to expose your child to handwriting consistently at home on a daily or weekly basis.
Below are different creative writing ideas to get your child practicing his handwriting with less hesitation!
- Write the family grocery list
- Copy a recipe onto a recipe card
- Create a bucket list of activities or places to go
- Make a birthday list (e.g. places to have next birthday party; themes for party)
- Write upcoming events onto the family calendar
- Write out personal goals for the upcoming school year (e.g. to be part of a school play; to join a new sports team; to get straight A’s)
- Keep track of what you ate each day or plan meals for the next day
- Help create a to-do list (e.g. chores; long-term homework assignments)
- Keep track of a topic of interest (e.g. bird watching)
- Write a book report on your favorite book
- Make a comic book with drawings and short phrases
- Copy jokes into a booklet format (e.g. from laffy taffy wrappers or popsicle sticks)
- Create a list of potential outfits to wear to school or to pack for an upcoming vacation
- Write out cards to send to family/friends
- Paraphrase the rules to a favorite board game or card game
The suggestions above can help your child find a handwriting activity that he does not mind doing. If it is still a struggle, offer him two options for the day (e.g. you can either write my grocery list for me or write out a card for Grandma’s birthday). You can also try setting a timer and let your child know that he needs to write for 10 minutes or come up with at least 3 sentences (or whatever is age appropriate compared to his peers at school). Lastly, for the first few trials, don’t feel like you have to edit or critique your child’s work, rather, just have him try to do his best work and praise him for being creative or trying something new. There will be plenty of opportunities to work on sizing, spacing and spelling after handwriting becomes more of a routine at home.