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Handwriting Center Activities

Updated on October 25, 2013

Handwriting Centers for Improving Fine Motor Skills

The following games and activities will help your children improve their fine motor skills needed for good penmanship. In a classroom setting these can be set up in rotations. Homeschoolers might use these as rewards for finishing their written handwriting practice. Consider adding these games to Literacy Bags. Children love to play these games and show their families what they have been learning in school. I like to make sure to send these games home with the children who need to improve control over the muscles in their hands.

Photo Credit: cursive writing by Catherine

Used under creative commons

Pick-Up Sticks Handwriting Center - Strengthen fine motor skills needed to improve penmanship and handwriting

Many years ago my grandmother taught my sister and I how to play Pick Up Sticks. It takes a steady hand and delicate touch to pick up each of the sticks without moving the others. With all the fun we had playing the game, we never realized how much it was helping to improve our fine motor skills, the very muscles needed to be able to write.

Puzzles for Improving Handwriting - Fine Motor Skills Competition

Put as many shapes into place before the timer goes off. Perfection is another wonderful game to use in a handwriting center for developing fine motor skills needed for good penmanship.

This games also helps to improve eye hand coordination as your child races against the clock to put all of the shapes back into the puzzle before the timer rings.

Don't Break the Ice - Delicate Tapping improves Fine Motor in Young Hands

Gently tap the blocks of ice out and try not to be the one to make the ice break up.

We played this game when reading Little House in the Big Woods. In the story, Pa and Ma begin their trek out of the Wisconsin Woods by crossing Lake Pepin just before the ice breaks up. The children loved playing this game as they imagined themselves to be with Laura and her family.

Little did they know they were improving their penmanship as they gently tapped each block of ice.

Nuts and Bolts Handwriting Center - Screw the Nuts and Bolts and Improve Your Penmanship

How many nuts and bolts can you put together before the timer goes off? Another fine motor activity that will help strengthen the muscles in your child's fingers to help improve their handwriting.

When my kids were young they were fascinated by nuts and bolts. We went down to the hardware store and bought dozens of nuts and bolts and put them in a box for the kids to play with. They often played for hours.

As they got older they created a competitive game where they raced to see who could screw the most bolts on in a certain amount of time. Your kids will love playing this game as well and will never realize that they are also improving their handwriting at the same time.

Have you tried any of the above activities for improving your handwriting? Which ones are your family's favorites? Which ones most surprised you?

Commenting on Improving your Cursive... - Have you improved your handwriting?

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    • evelynsaenz1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Evelyn Saenz 

      4 years ago from Royalton

      You might also look at my page about Penmanship. There are dozens of fun activities. Just read through them with your teens and continue to brainstorm fun ways to practice handwriting. How about invitations to a party? Maybe write letters to each other? How about writing a story where each one writes a paragraph then covers it up leaving only the last few words. Then the next person gets to write a paragraph. It is so much fun to read the whole story in the end. When doing this you might focus on a particular stroke or letter each session.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 

      4 years ago from California

      I am looking for something to teach cursive to teenagers. I am appalled that they no longer teach this in school and decided to help my grandkids learn during our summer vacation.


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