Build Pre-Handwriting Skills With These 10 Activities

Children with coordination or motor skill problems often have trouble learning to write. Fortunately for these children, there are a lot of fun activities that help build muscle tone in the hands and wrists, leading to a better ability to grasp writing instruments and an increased awareness of the fundamentals behind writing skills (such as motor planning and hand-eye coordination).


To make handwriting easier, here are 10 activities you might try with your child:

  1. Paint up-and-down on a vertical surface (an easel, blackboard, or wall are good options)
  2. Crumble up paper into little balls (the smaller the better)
  3. Squeeze stress balls or Play-Doh
  4. Squirt spray bottles filled with water – Make it a game! Water plants, play in the bath, or run around outside
  5. Cut construction paper with scissors – start with straight lines, move on to simple shapes, then more complicated shapes
  6. Climb a wall, jungle gym, tree, or rope
  7. Tear paper into various sizes and shapes
  8. Pop bubbles with one finger
  9. Make shapes in the sand with one finger
  10. Finger paint

It’s best to complete difficult pre-handwriting activities in an environment with minimal distractions. Turn off the TV, put away the toys, and request quiet from other people in the house. Be aware of any sensory issues your child has that might make the process of writing more challenging. If your child struggles with sensory feedback, for example, figuring out how much pressure to use in order to grip a pencil might be a problem. Most importantly, be patient – everyone learns in different ways and at varying paces.