The OT Toolbox

Handwriting Activities that Don't Need a Pencil

There are so many ways to work on handwriting without actually using a pencil. You probably know the face your child makes when you suggest a little handwriting practice. It's a cross between "NO!" and "Why???!!!" Anyone who has worked with a child who struggles with handwriting knows this face. But, what if I told you there were ways to work on the skills needed for handwriting and pencil grasp that don't actually require a pencil?

It's true! Kids can strengthen…


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The Handwriting Book
Kids with sensory needs can benefit from a themed intervention.  The child that craves sensory input can benefit from a set of sensory activities that are designed around their special interests.  The same holds true for the child who pulls back from sensations.  A set of sensory activities with a special theme can be motivating for the child who avoids specific sensations, positions, or textures.
Mindfulness is an important part of self-regulation and the ability to regulate our senses, feelings, and body. It's a skill that allows us to be aware of our body without responding rashly. In kids, mindfulness is important in the ability to pay attention and responding to input from the world around us, including emotionally and cognitively. The mindfulness for kids YouTube videos listed in this post can be a tool for many skills.

If your house is like mine, you have homemade slime filling containers and plastic baggies everywhere! The slime craze is very much still oozing over here! With all of the slime sitting around, I thought it might be fun to put it to work and use it to work those hand muscles. Here are creative ways to use slime to boost hand strength just by playing with slime. We've previously shared other ways to use slime in fine motor activities, so these hand strength exercises can be used in conjunction for your slime-loving kids!

An open thumb web space ensures a functional grasp on the pencil.  When the thumb is squashed against the pencil and the index finger, it is difficult to control the pencil with small motor movement changes.  These activities are designed to promote an open thumb web space.  Why not try  using them before a handwriting task to warm up the hands?

Handwriting practice doesn't need to be boring! This handwriting activity uses colored pencils with bright and vivid colors to make a colorful activity that seems more like a game than working on handwriting skills like letter formation and pencil pressure.


Below, you will find information on the tactile sensory system and how tactile challenges to the sensory system can result in difficulties tolerating clothing textures. The strategies below are helpful tips for getting sensory kids to wear winter clothes.

Many times kids who struggle with handwriting problems or challenges need some handwriting accommodations in order to complete written work in a legible and efficient manner. The handwriting strategies listed below are handwriting accommodations that can be used in a variety of classroom settings or in the home. The compilation of instructional ideas and handwriting accommodations may be trialed and presented by therapists, teachers, or parents, or anyone who works with kids who struggle with handwriting
As Occupational Therapy practitioners, we value evidence-backed resources to use in clinical practice intervention and evaluation. But finding evidence-based resources can be a struggle for therapists. There are many reasons for difficulties in finding this information including time, effort, cost, opportunities, availability of resources, and other issues. Below you will find various ways to obtain evidence-based resources as occupational therapy practitioner.


When teaching cursive writing, kids can recognize that cursive letters come in groups. These cursive letter families are how we can teach kids to write letters in chunks of similar pencil strokes. Teaching cursive letters in this manner can be a helpful strategy for allowing kids success when learning the pencil strokes needed for forming cursive letters.  Below, you'll find a subcategory of cursive letter groups: How to write cursive tow rope letters!
Recently, there was a question in our Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Help facebook group about Christmas activity ideas that promote the development of fine motor skills. These Christmas Fine Motor Activities are creative ideas that boost dexterity, build fine motor strength, promote precision of grasp, enhance separation of the two sides of the hand, and enhance tripod grasp. 
Train Themed Sensory Ideas
Train Themed Sensory Ideas

Kids with sensory needs can benefit from a themed intervention.  The child that craves sensory input can benefit from a set of sensory activities that are designed around their special interests.  The same holds true for the child who pulls back from sensations.  A set of sensory activities with a …
Mindfulness for Kids YouTube Videos
Mindfulness for Kids YouTube Videos

Mindfulness is an important part of self-regulation and the ability to regulate our senses, feelings, and body. It's a skill that allows us to be aware of our body without responding rashly. In kids, mindfulness is important in the ability to pay attention and responding to input from the world…
Slime Hand Strength Exercises
Slime Hand Strength Exercises

If your house is like mine, you have homemade slime filling containers and plastic baggies everywhere! The slime craze is very much still oozing over here! With all of the slime sitting around, I thought it might be fun to put it to work and use it to work those hand muscles. Here are creative ways…
Fine Motor Activities to Improve Open Thumb Web Space
Fine Motor Activities to Improve Open Thumb Web Space

An open thumb web space ensures a functional grasp on the pencil.  When the thumb is squashed against the pencil and the index finger, it is difficult to control the pencil with small motor movement changes.  These activities are designed to promote an open thumb web space.  Why not try  using them…
3 Handwriting Activities Using Colored Pencils
3 Handwriting Activities Using Colored Pencils

Handwriting practice doesn't need to be boring! This handwriting activity uses colored pencils with bright and vivid colors to make a colorful activity that seems more like a game than working on handwriting skills like letter formation and pencil pressure.


Tips for Getting Sensory Kids to Wear Winter Clothes
Tips for Getting Sensory Kids to Wear Winter Clothes

Below, you will find information on the tactile sensory system and how tactile challenges to the sensory system can result in difficulties tolerating clothing textures. The strategies below are helpful tips for getting sensory kids to wear winter clothes.

Easy Handwriting Accommodation Strategies for the Classroom
Easy Handwriting Accommodation Strategies for the Classroom

Many times kids who struggle with handwriting problems or challenges need some handwriting accommodations in order to complete written work in a legible and efficient manner. The handwriting strategies listed below are handwriting accommodations that can be used in a variety of classroom settings o…
Ways to Obtain Evidence Based Practice Resources for Occupational Therapy
Ways to Obtain Evidence Based Practice Resources for Occupational Therapy

As Occupational Therapy practitioners, we value evidence-backed resources to use in clinical practice intervention and evaluation. But finding evidence-based resources can be a struggle for therapists. There are many reasons for difficulties in finding this information including time, effort, cost,…
How to Teach Tow Rope Cursive Letter Connection
How to Teach Tow Rope Cursive Letter Connection

When teaching cursive writing, kids can recognize that cursive letters come in groups. These cursive letter families are how we can teach kids to write letters in chunks of similar pencil strokes. Teaching cursive letters in this manner can be a helpful strategy for allowing kids success when learn…
Christmas Fine Motor Activities
Christmas Fine Motor Activities

Recently, there was a question in our Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Help facebook group about Christmas activity ideas that promote the development of fine motor skills. These Christmas Fine Motor Activities are creative ideas that boost dexterity, build fine motor strength, promote precision of gras…