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A handful of handwriting activities

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A handful of handwriting activities

Writing Time 29/8/17


Handwriting doesn’t have to be all dreary drill and practice. Why not liven up your next handwriting lesson with one of these engaging activities?

Poetic sentences
(lower years)

This game lets students create crazy, cool sentences and practise their handwriting at the same time. To get started, choose a letter from the alphabet and have students turn to that page in their Writing Time Early Years Dictionary. As a class, brainstorm sentences using the words listed on the page and write them on the whiteboard. The sentences can be statements, questions or commands and should use as few ‘filler’ words as possible. Ask students to copy the sentences in their books and trace over the focus letter with a coloured pencil. For example:


  • A million mice made a mess in the museum.
  • How much more money do you make?
  • mate, mix mine with milk in the machine.
Hand writing, literally
(lower years)

With their finger as the pen and their partner’s back as the page, this sensory game improves students’ letter formation and recognition. Begin by sorting your students into pairs. One student (the pen) chooses any letter from the Writing Time Alphabet Wall Frieze or Desk Strip and draws it on their partner’s back (the page) with their finger. Their partner then has to figure out what the letter was. Students swap roles and repeat.

Steady hands

Tracing is a great way for students to develop fine motor skills that help them with their handwriting, and a roll of baking paper makes the perfect tool for the trade.

(lower years)

Students fasten a sheet of baking paper to their favourite picture in a book or magazine with clothes pegs. They then use a felt pen to trace the outline of the picture onto the baking paper. Students can colour in the outline with felt pens or leave it empty. The lower years Writing Time Student Practice Books provide plenty of beautiful illustrations for tracing.

(upper years)

Students fasten a sheet of baking paper to a picture, diagram or map with paperclips, and use a lead pencil to trace the outline. They then flip the baking paper and shade in the area containing the outline. They flip the sheet back over, fasten it to a blank sheet of paper and retrace the outline. This transfers the outline onto the blank sheet. Students can then tidy up the outline and colour it in with the pens and pencils of their choice.

I spy … neat letters!
(upper years)

This old favourite has a twist that’ll keep your students’ handwriting skills sharp. To begin, lead the class in a game of I-spy and have students write their answers on Blank Lines sheets from Writing Time Online. Limit the time students have to write each answer so that they practise their speed and legibility. At the end of the game, call out the answers while students mark their lists to see who got the most right. If there is a tie, the student who used the neater handwriting wins.

The art of sign-writing
(upper years)

This activity allows students to practise decorative writing, develop organisation and take pride in their classroom. Start by brainstorming what categories various things in the classroom could be organised into, such as homework, task cards or maths books. Share out these categories among students and have them create a sign for their category using colours and decorative letters. Students can find inspiration from the upper years Writing Time Student Practice Books, which include font activities such as Decorative Writing, Word Doodles and Flourished Writing. Laminate the signs and place them in the relevant areas of the classroom.

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