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Quick and Easy ideas for difficulties with Handwriting and Hand Strength 

Activities with your child at home can help improve overall hand strength and handwriting.

Here are a few ideas to get started:

Problems with spacing: 

1. Encourage child to leave a spaghetti size space in between lines and a meatball size space between words 

2. Teach the child to place their index finger of non-dominant hand at end of a word when getting ready to write next word 

3. Try switching to cursive writing 

4. Help edit writing with supervision 

5. Try placing paper on vertical surface 

Problems with Letter Size: 

1. Write words inside of a box 

2. Try different style papers (wide ruled, college ruled, etc.) 

Problems with Placement: 

1. Highlight bottom line and tell child to touch the line when writing letters 

2. Darken lines to increase awareness 

3. Upon completion, let student highlight and edit their own work, re-writing letters that didn’t touch 

Problems with Overall Handwriting: 

1. Top to bottom letter formation 

2. Try a multisensory approach when practicing letter formation such as with sand, whip cream, salt, bird seed, pudding, shaving cream, etc. 

3. Make raised letters on index cards to trace with writing hand 

4. Draw a green line with word “go” on left side and “Stop” on the right in red to demonstrate writing left to right 

Writing with Tight Grip or Thumb Wrap: 

1.Try visual or verbal prompts for finger positioning on writing tool 

2. Set up activities where child uses clothes pins, tongs, tweezers, etc. (Make sure fingers are rounding and opposed while holding equipment) 

3. String beads, lace cards, or place pegs on board while holding pegs in hand 

4. Place 3” binder for child to place writing work on to improve hand and finger position 

5. Squeeze large sponges to wring out water 

6. Spin tops 

Difficulties with Scissors and Cutting: 

1. Always reposition and model how scissors are held 

2. Try placing a sticker on thumb nail as a visual cue, “you should always see your sticker while you are cutting” 

3. When holding scissors and paper, child should see both thumbs 

4. Highlight the line, place stickers at beginning and end 

5. Try colored paper, thicker lines, or thicker paper such as cardstock 

6. Cut up magazine or catalog pictures 

Decreased Finger and Hand Strength: 

1. Roll small pieces of playdoh or putty between fingertips and thumb 


3.Tear paper while keeping ring and pinky fingers tucked into palms 

4. Do activities using eye droppers, tongs, or tweezers 

5. Line up a row of coins and have child flip them over quickly 

6. Hole punch and staplers 

7. Snapping fingers 

8. Ziploc bags or squeeze toys 

9. Lite Brite 

10. Peel stamps or stickers 

11. Pop Bubble Wrap 

Kendall Chelian, Occupational Therapist, Murfreesboro, TN.