DIY Desk Letter Strip Handwriting Hack

Sometimes all the little handwriting tricks can work wonders when kids are working hard on handwriting. But when the letter formation is functional and sentences are legible, the verbal cues and visual prompts are reduced. But there can be times that letter formation suffers when kids are writing on their own.  

Check out all of the handwriting tips in our Easy Tricks for Better Handwriting Help here.  

Be sure to join over 400 others in the Facebook group that I’ve created for handwriting help.  Jump in, ask questions, share your tips and tricks and join the fun:  Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Help

Writing prompts or independent writing tasks can revert to previous handwriting habits.  This DIY Desk Letter Strip is a simple handwriting hack that can help kids with letter formation when they are writing independently.  

Make a Desk Letter Strip from a ruler to help kids work on letter formation.

Letter strips are helpful for kids who are learning how to make letters, addressing letter reversal tendencies, and working on the motor plan to make letters functionally.

This DIY version of a letter strip is one that can be taken to any desk, tucked into binder pockets or file folders, or easily pulled out of a desk.  Kids will love that their ruler is quickly and discretely used as a letter strip that can help with letter formation or a quick check on the direction a letter should be aligned. 


Desk Letter Strip made from a ruler

Make a Desk Letter Strip from a ruler to help kids work on letter formation.
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To make our desk letter strip, we used wooden rulers.  These have a great back for writing letters on and are spacious enough for the upper case alphabet and lower case alphabet.  

Make a Desk Letter Strip from a ruler to help kids work on letter formation.
To make the letter strip, use another ruler to draw a quick line down the length of the ruler.  On that line, write the upper and lower case alphabet with a permanent marker. 

This portable letter strip would be great for cursive letters, too.  Upper case cursive letters are not easy for kids to remember as they are not used as frequently. A desktop example can be helpful during writing tasks.

Make a Desk Letter Strip from a ruler to help kids work on letter formation.

And that’s it!  

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Show your student how they can use the letter strip to double check letter formation or to help with alphabetical order.

Looking for more ways to help kids address letter formation? Try these:


Did this quick tip work for you and your kiddo?  Let us know in the comments below or in the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Facebook group!
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Get 29 pages of modified paper with a Christmas Theme for legible and neat Letters to Santa, Christmas Wish Lists, Thank You Notes, Holiday Lists, and MORE! 

Sky Ground Writing Paper

A simple trick to teach kids how to write on the lines is
sometimes all that it takes to make hours of
handwriting practice
“click”. This modified paper technique is a common way that is used
among Occupational Therapists to address line awareness, letter size, and
letter formation needs in kids.  

Try using commercial sky/ground paper or
these ideas for DIY versions of the paper for a visual cue that may 
help kids
learn to write on the lines, form letters with appropriate size, and make
letters 
accurately in a way that helps with legibility and overall neatness.

Use the sky ground technique of writing to help kids improve legibility through imporved line awareness, letter formation, and letter size.


Sky Ground Paper for Better Handwriting

This post contains affiliate links.
I am a huge advocate of using simple tricks to help kids improve
their 
handwriting.  This post is part of our 30 day series on simple ideas for better handwriting.  While I’m just a tad behind in my posting
schedule (don’t worry, I’ve got all 30 great ideas planned out for you!), I am
keeping the round up of easy handwriting tricks up to date. 

Check out all of the easy handwriting tips here.  
Be sure to join over 400 others in the Facebook group that I’ve
created for handwriting help.  Jump in, ask questions, share your tips and
tricks and join the fun:  Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Help
Now onto the paper!
Modified paper is a common way to address handwriting needs.
 There are all kinds of adapted paper out there that can help kids improve
their legibility and neatness of written work.  Just a few examples
include bold lined paper, raised lined paper, colored lined paper, highlighted bottom space paper, and graphpaper.  Today’s topic addresses sky-ground paper
Sky ground paper is a modified version writing paper that is
designed to add a visual component to kids’ written work.  The color-coded
lines can help kids visualize the appropriate size of letters.  Consider
the “tall” letters: b, d, f, h, k, l, t, and all of the upper case
letters start at the top line.  However, occasionally, kids omit use of
that top line and either start the letter’s formation above the top line, or the
start the letter under the top line.  Their handwriting results in written
work that appears inconsistent in difficult to read.  

Varying size of
letter height is a big component in overall legibility.  When letters are
formed too large for the available writing area, letters begin to grow in width
or are inconsistent in overall size.  Space between words suffers as a
result of the child attempting to squeeze their written response into the
available space. 
Likewise, letters that are supposed to meet the middle line or
have a “tail” that drops down below the baseline should be
appropriately placed on the line.  When a child seems to have visual
perceptual difficulties or difficulty with visual motor integration, letter
placement or pencil control may suffer.
Beyond letter size, another indication for the need to add a
visual component to paper with the sky-ground paper is poor letter formation. Some children form letters in parts.  They make a “d” by
drawing a circle and a line.  Other times, kids form letters quickly and in
a flowing manner while writing.  For example, when writing the word
“car”, the child may make the letter “a” and then quickly
draw a curved candy cane shape for the letter “r” by starting at the
bottom line after forming the letter a with a downward line.  
Using sky-ground paper can help kids to form letters
appropriately, with top-to-bottom formation.  Using visual and verbal cues
of the colored lines and even pictures on the lined paper can address these
needs.



Related Read: Try these handwriting accommodation strategies to address a variety of handwriting challenges. 

Visual perception Needs and Modified Paper

Visual perceptual needs in kids are often times visualized when a
child 
attempts to write.  You may see
difficulties with line awareness, spatial awareness, or size awareness.  This is because the visual perceptual skills are needed to place letters on the lines and play an important part of line awareness, size awareness, letter formation, and copying skills.

Visual motor integration skills and modified paper

When kids attempt to place letters on the lines, a difficulty with
eye-hand 
coordination may be observed.  Coordinated use of the pencil to place letters where they want them can
be difficult when they are lacking in visual motor 
integration abilities. 


 Use Sky Ground Paper to Help with Handwriting

By seeing the blue line for the sky and the green line for the
ground, kids can see and understand the size differences in letters.  Tall letters that reach the top lines are the
ones that start at the sky or the blue line. 
The small letters (a, c, o, r, etc) are letters that reach the middle
line but should not go up into the sky. 
And tail letters (j, g, p, etc) have a tail that goes down under the
ground. 
What a visual for the child that can now “see” how letters should
be placed on lines!
When helping kids use this paper, add verbal prompts such as:
“Start the tall letters in the sky.”
“Short letters start in the middle but they don’t go underground.”
“Make your “G” by starting in the sky and curving around to the
ground.  Add a line in the middle.”
“Tail letters hang down underground.”
“Make your “t” start in the sky and pull down to the ground.’
This technique is great for the visual learner!

 Use the sky ground technique of writing to help kids improve legibility through imporved line awareness, letter formation, and letter size.


While there are several versions of this paper available online, you can easily make your own version for quick intervention.  Use a thin blue marker and thin green marker to quickly add lines to paper.

Use the sky ground technique of writing to help kids improve legibility through imporved line awareness, letter formation, and letter size. 
Add sky and ground lines to workbooks, too. This is a great way to use the modification for kids who are writing with a single rule size.

 Smart Start sky ground paper Smart Start paper 
 


There are several versions of this paper available under the name Smart Start paper.  


House Handwriting Method 

Another trick that builds on this method is the concept of a
house.  For kids who are older or those
that don’t want marker lines or special paper to be used, try this house method
of writing. 

**Children can become very aware of how their paper looks
different that their desk neighbor. 
Differences can be stressful for these kiddos that are already struggling
to write legibly due to underlying needs. 
A lesser modification is great once they have shown success with adaptations
such as sky ground paper or DIY paper cues.

The House Method for spatial organization and letter formation
In this method of handwriting, draw a house shape on one margin of the paper.  The tall letters go into the attic, the small letters are in the first floor, and the tail letters go into the basement.  This is a very simple DIY to create by simply drawing one house on the left hand margin of the lined paper.

Line awareness and letter formation difficulties with older kids
Children who are beyond the age-appropriate level of double lined paper can still use both of these line awareness and letter formation techniques.  Just modify single lined paper with either the marker lines or a simple house shape. 

Looking for more letter formation handwriting ideas? 




Use the sky ground technique of writing to help kids improve legibility through imporved line awareness, letter formation, and letter size.
Did this quick tip work for you and your kiddo?  Let us know in the comments below or in the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Facebook group!
Get 29 pages of modified paper with a Christmas Theme for legible and neat Letters to Santa, Christmas Wish Lists, Thank You Notes, Holiday Lists, and MORE! 

Tips to Help Kids Learn How to Blow Their Nose

Want to know how to teach kids to blow their nose so kids can blow their stuffy noses on their own? Many times, we see kiddos with boogery, runny noses that don’t know how to blow their nose. They might not know how to blow their nose or even how to hold a tissue. Blowing a nose is a functional skill that occupational therapists may see come up in the classroom or at home. Read on for nose blowing tips for kids from an occupational therapist will help kids blow their nose with ease!


How to Blow Your Nose

This time of year, kids get sick.  Sometimes it seems like there are more visits to the pediatrician’s office than there is to the grocery store.  With children back into the routine of school, there are more opportunities for kids to come into contact with germs from friends and teachers.  As parents, one thing we know a lot about is runny noses.  When our babies are born, it is usually not long before a runny nose has us and the sweet little baby up at night with the stuffy, congested breathing.  When kids start to progress in their self care, they can start to become more independent with the task of blowing their own nose.  

Blowing your nose includes steps that can be hard for kids to master:

  • Knowing that their nose is stuffy or full (interoception, or an awareness of the body)
  • Knowing to blow boogers instead of sniffing them up into the nose (interoception)
  • Holding a tissue at the nose without crumbling it (fine motor skills)
  • Blowing air through the nose and not the mouth (oral motor skills)
  • Pressing on one nostril and then the other (fine motor skills, interoception)
  • Knowing that all of the mucus or boogers are gone from the nose (interoception)
  • Handling a messy tissue without spreading germs (fine motor skills and tactile sensory skills)
  • Throwing away a tissue and washing hands (executive functioning skills, problem solving, sensory processing, fine motor skills)

And completing all of these tasks WHILE engaging in learning, social events, or performing other tasks. What a challenge for some of the kids we serve!

How can these steps of nose blowing be mastered by kids who struggle with fine motor skills, sensory processing concerns (including tactile or interoception issues), and executive functioning skills?


Tips to teach kids to blow their nose

Today, I’m sharing tips and tricks to help kids learn how to blow their own nose and to develop their ability to perform this portion of personal hygiene and functional skill ability.


Teaching kids to blow their own nose can be tricky.  Children who are typically developing find blowing their own nose to be difficult and children with special needs may have an especially troubling time with independent nose blowing.


There are important parts of the development of the child to consider when it comes to nose blowing.  Knowing what a child typically should be able to do in this personal care task can help parents determine if teaching nose blowing is feasible at different ages.  Other kids with sensory, fine motor, cognitive, or other struggles will fit into this developmental breakdown differently.  You can read more on these areas concerns below.

Tips to teach kids how to blow their own nose. This is great for typically developing kids and special needs kids.

When Can Kids Blow Their Nose?


Blowing a nose doesn’t come naturally. It’s a skill that needs to be taught. Parents that watch their little ones struggle with boogery, wet, runny noses often wonder when their child is old enough to blow their own nose. In fact, there are milestones that go along with this functional skill.

These are typical age ranges for the breakdown of skills needed for independence in nose care.
Age 1 –  The child allows his or her nose to be wiped.
Age 1.5- Attempts to wipe nose without actually completing the task
Age 2- Wipes nose when asked
Age 2.5-3.5- Wipes nose without request
Age 2.5-3.5- Blows nose with request



It’s important to note that kids don’t always follow these developmental milestones and that every child is different.  They typically developing child may not blow his or her own nose until age 5.  Just like any skill that a child completes, there are various ranges of development.  In this post, you will find tricks and tips to help kids develop this skill.


For the child with special needs, independent nose blowing may develop more slowly as a result of concerns in other areas.  

How to blow your nose: Fine motor skills needed 

When blowing one’s own nose, there are fine motor components that are necessary.  Eye-hand coordination, bringing the hands to midline, vision-obstructed motor control, pincer grasp, and pinch grip strength are necessary for managing a tissue. To address these needs, try building the skills needed for each area.

Here are strategies to build fine motor skills.

How to blow your nose: Sensory Skills needed

For a child, the process of blowing his or her own nose can be quite distressing.  Children with olfactory sensitivities may breathe primarily through their mouth, making the act of nose blowing difficult.  A sensitivity to scents can cause an overreaction to the tissue that needs to be held near the nose.  To accommodate for these sensitivities, try using unscented tissues.  Attempting the nose-breathing activities listed below can help.

There are tactile and olfactory sensory skills involved with nose blowing and managing a tissue, but also interoceptive skills. Interoception is a sensory processing ability that tells us how our body feels and impacts functioning skills. This skills allows kids to understand and feel what’s going on inside their body. When a child struggles with the interoceptive sense, they may have trouble knowing when their nose is full, running, or stuffed. They may not realize they have a booger on their face or when they need to blow their nose. Interoception allows us to know when we are finished blowing our nose and when a child’s  nose is empty or they’ve finished blowing.

Here is more information on sensory processing.


How to blow your nose: Cognitive skills needed

For young children, the process of completing each step of nose blowing can be a difficult process. Children need to maintain lip closure while breathing through their nose, one nostril at a time.  This multi-process task can be difficult for older children who demonstrate difficulty with cognition.  To address these problem areas, try using a social story for the steps of nose blowing.  A social story can also help children identify the appropriate time for attempting to blow their nose.

Executive functioning skills play a part in teaching kids to blow their own nose. The problem solving needed to identify when a stuffy nose impacts functioning is just one concern. Here are more ways that executive functioning impacts nose blowing:

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Prioritization
  • Attention
  • Impulse Control
  • Working Memory
  • Cognitive Flexibility
  • Foresight

If a child has a runny nose when in the classroom, they need to plan out how to get a tissue. They need the foresight to know that if they don’t blow their nose, they will have a messy nose, runny boogers, or get an ear infection from sniffing too much. They need to prioritize how to stop writing or reading and how to blow their nose in the middle of the classroom, and then what to do with the used tissue. They need the impulse control to not sniffle or to throw their tissue in the garbage as opposed to the floor. They need the working memory and cognitive flexibility to return to the task at hand once they blow their nose. They need the ability to pay attention to the teacher or their assignment while they blow their nose. What a lot of executive functioning skills are involved with nose blowing!

How to Blow your nose: Oral motor skills needed

In order to blow the nose, a child needs to maintain lip closure.  This can be a very difficult task for children who exhibit oral motor problems.  Oral motor skills impact feeding and breathing through the nose (as opposed to mouth breathing), but blowing the nose is impacted by oral motor skill development as well.

Here is more information on oral motor skills.

Use these fun tips to teach kids how to blow their nose.


Strategies for helping kids learn to blow their own nose: 



1. First practice with the mouth.  Teach kids bring a tissue to their nose and practice blowing air out of their mouth.  In this way, kids understand that blowing out air can move the tissue.  They can then progress to closing their mouth and blowing air out through their nose. 


2. Teach when not sick. This is an important factor in teaching kids to blow their nose.  Parents typically do not consider nose blowing until there is congestion that interferes with breathing.  When kids are trying to learn to blow their nose and they are dealing with a runny or blocked nose, it can be overwhelming and frustrating for kids to breathe while holding their mouth shut.  Try practicing nose blowing when the child is feeling well.


3. Blow water- Teach kids that they can use their nose to blow air through one or both nostrils at a time in order to blow ripples across the surface of water.  Ask them to practice pinching their nose. 


4. Blow a tissue ball- Tear a small piece of facial tissue and crumble it into a very small ball. Place it on the table surface and ask your child to blow the tissue on the table using their nose.


5. Blow on a mirror to see the fog.  Ask your child to pinch one nostril closed and to blow air through their nose onto a mirror.


6. Teach the child about the spread of germs.  Try this children’s book and craft to get started.

7. Teach the child to hold one nostril with a tissue.  Use your hand to push down on one nostril. Kids can try this skill too, by trying to making the tissue dance with just one side of their nose. Call it a “tissue boogie” and get that tissue dancing by blowing it with the air from one nostril at a time.

8. Over-exaggerate the breathing, closing mouth, and blowing through the nose without a tissue. Sit across from the child and play a game of “Simon Says” to copy the movements to take a deep breath, hold it in, close the mouth, and blow through the nose.

9. Nose Blowing Social Story- Try this nose blowing social story to teach kids to blow their own nose.

Tips from an Occupational Therapist to teach kids how to blow their nose.

Graph Paper Letter Spacing Handwriting Trick

This graph paper handwriting tool is an easy way to teach kids how to place letters with appropriate letter spacing, letter size, and line awareness when writing. Try using this trick when visual motor integration is a concern or when students have difficulty with legibility in handwriting.



use graph paper to help kids work on visual motor integration skills and legibility through improved line awareness, letter formation, size awareness, spatial awareness, and handwriting neatness.

Use graph paper to help with Handwriting Legibility


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Common concerns with handwriting involve overshooting lines, poor placement of letters, and varying size of letter creation.  Using graph paper is just part of a simple trick to help with each of these areas. 

If you missed yesterday’s blog post, you’ll want to read over another idea that encourages development and strengthening of several skills: using transfer paper to help with letter formation, letter size, line awareness, and pencil pressure

Both posts are part of our 30 day series on easy tricks and tips to help with handwriting.  

You can find these and many more handwriting ideas in our Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Help Facebook group.

use graph paper to help kids work on visual motor integration skills and legibility through improved line awareness, letter formation, size awareness, spatial awareness, and handwriting neatness.

How to use graph paper to help with handwriting:

Use graph paper that is appropriately sized to your child’s handwriting size needs.  There are various sizes available:
And even Dot grid squares (for visual prompts without the lines)

Using the appropriately sized grids, use a highlighter to create pyramid style boxes for practicing word copying.  For each word, create a pyramid of highlighted boxes that stack the letters so the child practices the word with increasing motor plan effort.

For example, when practicing the word “play”, the child would practice “p”, then “pl”, then “pla”, and finally “play”.  

Practicing a word in this manner allows the child to shift their vision down to the next line with a visual cue to correct any mistakes that they made in letter formation.  It is important to monitor kids’ work as they begin this activity to make sure they are forming letters correctly and not building on inaccuracies in letter formation or organizational components (size and space of letters). 

The grid of the graph paper is a huge tool in allowing the child to form letters with constrictions on letter size, spacing, and line awareness.  

Finally, when the child completes the whole word, place a piece of paper under the last highlighted grid.  The paper should have normal lines without graph paper type of grids.  By placing the paper under the grids, the child can copy the style of writing that they used when writing the whole word.  Transferring the spacing, size, and line use to regular paper uses the visual cue of the graph paper with improved accuracy.

It is important to monitor kids’ use of the graph paper and writing each letter of the word in repetition.  Sometimes, kids will attempt to complete an activity like this one quite quickly in order to “get it over with”. In those cases, letter size, letter spacing, and line awareness can suffer.  Try to limit the number of words that are practiced with this method.


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Other ways to use graph paper to practice handwriting accuracy:

Use this pyramid style of writing to practice spelling words and sight words.
Try using graph paper to write written responses to writing prompts.
Use graph paper for writing responses on worksheets.
Use graph paper to help kids who need extra work on margin awareness
use graph paper to help kids work on visual motor integration skills and legibility through improved line awareness, letter formation, size awareness, spatial awareness, and handwriting neatness.

 More handwriting tricks and tips:

 Pencil Pressure Handwriting Trick Use sandpaper to help kids with letter formation handwritingBoxes and Dots Handwriting Method Easy Trick for Tripod Grasp Pencil Grip

Easy Trick for Tripod Pencil Grasp

Get 29 pages of modified paper with a Christmas Theme for legible and neat Letters to Santa, Christmas Wish Lists, Thank You Notes, Holiday Lists, and MORE! 

Fall Leaf Auditory Processing Activities

These Fall Leaf Auditory Processing Activities are great for addressing listening skills in kids with or without auditory processing difficulties.  Try these creative ideas at home or in the school yard to easily strengthen auditory abilities for better learning. Perfect for children of all ages and developmental levels, it’s a Fall themed activity that will help kids learn to listen to details!


Listening isn’t easy for everyone.  For children with auditory processing disorders, learning is difficult. Imagine identifying and localizing sounds in a classroom that is filled with chattering children, scooting chair legs, pencils scratching on paper, and moving, sound-making children.  The process of localizing sounds, recognizing sound patterns, discriminating between different letter sounds, and interpreting auditory information can be less than optimal for the child with difficulty processing the sound information that is coming in. 


Try these listening activities using Fall’s leaves in a backyard auditory processing activity!



Try these activities to help kids who are auditory learners

Fall Leaf themed auditory processing activities for sensory needs in kids.

Auditory Processing Activities Using Fall Leaves

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When there are auditory processing difficulties present, a child may tend to have the following problems that interfere with learning:

 

  • Poor direction following
  • Appear confused
  • Distractibility
  • Short attention spans
  • Sensitive to loud sounds
  • Inconsistently aware of sounds
  • Poor listeners



To build and strengthen auditory skills, try using leaves this Fall.  The crunchy, dry leaves that cover the ground are nature’s sensory tool when it comes to auditory processing needs.  


We first talked about the fall leaves that are covering our lawn and read through this month’s Virtual Book Club for Kids book, Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert.  We talked about how the leaves of fall are all different colors, shapes, and sizes but have one thing in common: a great crunch when they are dry!


To do these sensory Fall Leaf Auditory Processing activity, you’ll need a bunch of leaves that have fallen from trees.  Dry leaves will work best, so if the leaves are newly fallen, you will want to gather leaves up in advance.  Let them dry indoors for several hours or overnight to get a great “crunch”.


Next, spread out the leaves in a big bin.  An under the bed storage bin works great for this activity.


Show your child how to squeeze and crumble the leaves using their hands.  Ask them to listen to the crunch of the leaves.  Notice how the leaves crumble and give off a satisfying noise as they are shifted around in the bin.  

Fall Leaf themed auditory processing activities for sensory needs in kids.

 

Use the dry leaves to address auditory sensory needs:

 

 

 

  1. Where is that leaf? Ask the child to sit in front of the bin (or if you are outside, sit in front of the adult.  Ask the child to close their eyes.  Using one hand to crunch leaves, ask the child to say or point to the side that the leaf crunch is coming from.  Add a high/low and front/back component by moving around to crumble the leaves, too.
  2. Leaf Pattern- Ask your child to gather a bunch of dry leaves.  Using a pile of leaves of your own, complete a crunching pattern as you crumble leaves at different speeds and in each hand.  The child can then repeat the pattern.
  3. Sound Stop- Crumble and crunch the leaves.  At intervals, stop crunching leaves and wait for a moment. Ask the child to say “Now!” when the leaves stop crumbling.
  4. Falling Leaf Sounds- With the child’s eyes closed, crumble leaves high and low above and below the child.  Ask the child to determine if the leaves are above them or below them as they determine the location of the sound.
  5. Lots of Sound Leaves- Add other sounds to the background noise: talking, music, rattle toys, birds chirping, etc.  Ask the child to determine when the sound of crunching leaves stop.  You can also add a localization dimension to this activity to work on auditory figure ground awareness.
Kids can complete these activities on a one-on-one basis or in a group setting.  For kids with sensory issues, or those that are sensitive to crumbling leaves, try using gardening gloves while crumbling.
 

How would you use Fall’s leaves in a sensory or auditory processing activity?

Fall Leaf themed auditory processing activities for sensory needs in kids.



Looking for more leaf themed activities? Try these from the bloggers in the Virtual Book Club for Kids series:

Alphabet Activities
 
 
 
Name Activities
Learning Fun With Leaves – Clare’s Little Tots
Sensory Activities
 
Fall Loose Parts Sensory Invitation  – My Storytime Corner
 
Science Activities
 
Preschool Leaf Science Experiment  – Preschool Powol Packets
 
Color Activities

Leaf Color Sorting – My Bored Toddler
 
Pre-Writing Activities

Leaf puppets – messy little monster  – Messy Little Monster
 
Movement Activities
 
 
Number Leaf Scavenger Hunt – – The Educators’ Spin On It
 

 

 

Visit our auditory processing activities page for more creative ways to address auditory needs.

Address sensory needs while experiencing all that the Fall season has to offer! Grab your free copy of the Fall Sensory Experiences Booklet to create sensory diet activities that meet the needs of individuals in a Fall-themed way!

Get our Fall Sensory Activities Guide

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    Teach Handwriting with Transfer Paper

    This handwriting trick is one that will get the kids excited about practicing their letter size, line awareness, letter formation, and pencil pressure when writing.  It’s a power tool that works on so many aspects or written work, making it a simple way to practice many components of handwriting at once.  What is this super handwriting tool?  Transfer paper!


    Follow along in the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Facebook page, where over 300 readers and Facebook users are coming together to share and find handwriting tricks and tips.




    Use transfer paper to work on letter formation, size awareness, line awareness, and pencil pressure in handwriting with this easy writing trick that will help kids write with neater and legible handwriting.

    Use transfer paper to work on many handwriting skills


    This post contains affiliate links.

    There are so many ways you can build the skills needed for legibility in written work with a simple transfer paper notebook or transfer paper sheets.

    First, what is transfer paper?  It is that sheet of paper that creates a copy in memo notebooks.  It’s a sheet of paper that is used to create an instant copy by simply hand writing on paper.  It can be a fun surprise for kids that allow a moment’s focus and attention to writing practice that just doesn’t happen with regular paper and pencil.

    Use transfer paper to work on letter formation, size awareness, line awareness, and pencil pressure in handwriting with this easy writing trick that will help kids write with neater and legible handwriting.

    Build handwriting skills with transfer paper:


    Letter size and Line awareness- This messages book is perfect for helping kids work on letter size and line awareness.  It’s a great way to build the skills needed for keeping letters and words within writing spaces on worksheets and forms.  The act of writing on the given spaces with an awareness of how the letters will look on the copy is rewarding for kids.

    Letter formation– When kids are writing and flipping over the sheet to see how their writing looks, they slow down.  A slower speed can help kids work on letter formation.  Try verbal prompts for accurate letter formation with this slower speed.

    Pencil pressureTransfer paper is a great tool for building an awareness of pencil pressure and writing with a “just right” amount of pressure through the pencil.  Read more about proprioception and handwriting.

    Use transfer paper to work on letter formation, size awareness, line awareness, and pencil pressure in handwriting with this easy writing trick that will help kids write with neater and legible handwriting.
    Use transfer paper to work on letter formation, size awareness, line awareness, and pencil pressure in handwriting with this easy writing trick that will help kids write with neater and legible handwriting.
    This post is part of our Easy Quick Fixes to Better Handwriting series

    You’ll also want to join the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Practice Facebook group for more handwriting tips and tools.

    MORE Creative Handwriting Tricks you will love:

    http://www.sugaraunts.com/2015/11/benefits-of-playing-with-stickers-occupational-therapy.html   








      


                                        Toys and Games for Reluctant Writers

    Get 29 pages of modified paper with a Christmas Theme for legible and neat Letters to Santa, Christmas Wish Lists, Thank You Notes, Holiday Lists, and MORE! 

    Sloppy Handwriting Quick Fix

    This handwriting trick is an easy one to teach to kids.  It’s a quick lesson in written work that may be just the thing that turns sloppy writing into neat and legible handwriting.  It’s a quick tip in our 30 day series (that is running just a tad behind schedule. Don’t fret though, all quick tips will be here as soon as they are up on the blog.) You can find all of the handwriting tricks here.  

    Follow along in the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Facebook page, where over 300 readers and Facebook users are coming together to share and find handwriting tricks and tips.

    Soppy writing tips for better handwriting

    Sloppy Handwriting Quick Fix 

    You’ve probably seen it before.  Written work that is all over the page in terms of letter size and formation, letters that are big and some that are small, and little awareness to lines.  

    When a child writes quicly, sometimes letter formation suffers.  For other kids, they tend to write with poor letter formation all the time.  Letters have big gaps between parts of lines and there is very little re-trace.  

    When writing letters accurately, there should be a certain amount of re-trace.  Letters that are formed by the pencil tracing back over a line have re-trace.  Letters “a, d, h, m, n, r, and p” are just a few examples with re-trace.

    When a child omits that re-trace, they make letters that have a “kickstand”.  There is a big gap between parts of the letters and the size suffers.  Letters are formed haphazardly and illegibly.  It’s sloppy.

    To improve neatness in written work, try this easy trick:

    Grab a highlighter or yellow marker and go over your child’s written work.  You might use a list of spelling words or a response to a writing prompt.  Scan through the handwriting with your child and fill in the gaps with the yellow marker.  As you go through the letters, show your child how you can find all of those gaps and spaces that should be closed up tight.  

    Handwriting tricks for neater letter formation
    When letters are formed accurately and with nice re-trace, just a dot is all that is needed to fill in the gap.  Kids can even go through their written work and self-check for gaps in the letters.  Tell them to look for “kickstands” on their letters and to try to form the letters with just a small dot of space.

    RELATED READ: Learn more about re-trace in letter formation.

    Did this quick tip work for you and your kiddo?  Let us know in the comments below or in the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Facebook group!

    Try this trick for neater letter formation and handwriting
    MORE Creative Handwriting activities that your child will love:

    http://www.sugaraunts.com/2015/10/visual-tracking-tips-and-tools-for.html 





    Handwriting Spacing Puzzles

    Kids who struggle with spacing in written work sometimes write withallthewordstogether.  That’s pretty tough to read, right? When kids struggle with spatial awareness may write words and letters with little regard to spacing. 

    A visual perception difficulty prevents kids from writing with adequate spacing on the page.  Other times, kids have trouble copying written work with appropriate spacing.  Still other kids might show difficulty with spatial awareness when writing at a fast speed or when writing in a journal or with free writing.  

    These spacing puzzles are a great hands-on activity for helping kids to recognize and become more aware of spacing between words.  It’s a hands on approach to addressing visual perception in handwriting.


    Spatial awareness puzzles for helping kids address visual perception skills needed for spacing between letters and words when writing.

    Spatial Awareness Puzzles for Helping Kids Space Between Words When Writing


    To practice spacing with a hands-on approach, try this spacing puzzle.  You’ll need just a couple of materials for the activity.

    Affiliate links are included in this post.

    Cardstock cut into squares.  
    Marker
    Cut the cardstock into squares.  Write letters on the cardstock squares.  Spread the letters out on the table.  You can use the letters in several different spatial awareness puzzles.

    Spatial awareness puzzles for helping kids address visual perception skills needed for spacing between letters and words when writing.
    Construct sentences with the letters, positioning the words in a jumbled manner regarding spacing.  A sentence such as “Can we play ball?” Might present as “Ca nwe playb all?” 

    In this puzzle, kids can re-arrange the letters to accurately space between the cardstock letters.  

    Use the jumbled sentences to practice spacing on paper by asking the child to copy the sentence with accurate spacing.  They can first re-arrange the letters on the table or just copy with accurate spatial awareness.

    Another activity might include writing a jumbled sentence on paper.  Kids can use the letter pieces to construct the sentence appropriately and then write it on paper. 

    Spatial awareness puzzles for helping kids address visual perception skills needed for spacing between letters and words when writing.
    A third activity involves writing jumbled sentences on paper and asking kids to circle the letters to form words.  They can then copy the sentences using appropriate spacing between letters and words. 

    All three of these spacing puzzles require the child to become aware of space between words.  When they slow down to position the words appropriately, they are likely to space between words when writing functionally. 

    Let me know if these puzzles work for your child who is working on spatial awareness!

    Spatial awareness puzzles for helping kids address visual perception skills needed for spacing between letters and words when writing.

    This post is part of our Easy Quick Fixes to Better Handwriting series

    You’ll also want to join the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Practice Facebook group for more handwriting tips and tools.

    Looking for more activities to help kids work on spacing between words and letters?  Try these:


    Handwriting Spacing Tools


    Space Martial Spacing Tool


    Spatial Awareness in Handwriting