How to Teach Spacing Between Words with a Clothespin | The OT Toolbox

How to Teach Spacing Between Words with a Clothespin

When it comes to legibility in handwriting, spacing between words makes all the! Addressing spatial awareness in handwriting can make a big difference in legibility fairly quickly given intervention, practice, awareness, and the tools to address spacing in written work. We've shared several handwriting spacing tools here on The OT Toolbox, like a cute DIY space martian spacing tool and this pipe cleaner spacing tool

Sometimes a simple visual cue like this craft stick spacing tool and pointer stick can make a big difference in handwriting spatial awareness and handwriting legibility.

Read on for another quick craft that kids can make and use to teach spacing between words...using a clothes pin for better spatial awareness in written work. 

This spacing tool is one that can be attached to a notebook or folder and used again and again...because any school-based OT knows that those spacing tools can get lost very easily!


Use a clothespin craft to teach spacing between words using a clip clothespin for better legibility and spatial awareness in handwriting.

Handwriting Spacing Between Words Tool 

The best part of this handwriting spacing tool is that kids can make their own, while creating a unique tool that fits their personality! 

First, read more about how spacing tools work.


Teach spacing between words with a clothespin for better legibility and spatial awareness in handwriting.
Next, get all of your materials ready, because this handwriting spacing tool is a fun activity! In fact, school-based therapists can create a group activity in a classroom with random items found in a craft bin...while boosting those fine motor skills!

To make a DIY spacing tool, you'll need a clothes pin. The wooden type is perfect for painting and decorating, making a fine motor craft based on the child's interests, favorite color, etc. When the child makes their own spacing tool, they are more likely to use it again and again.

Using the clothes pin clip allows the spacing tool to be saved. (Better yet, the clip prevents another lost therapy item later found at the bottom of a backpack or in the midst of desk chaos!)

To make the Clothes Pin Spacing Tool

You'll need some basic craft items (affiliate links are included below):

We received the paints and gems from www.craftprojectideas.com.

Kids can make this clothespin craft in therapy or school to teach spacing between words for better handwriting.

Next, get the kids started on painting. Ask the child or group of kids to paint all sides of the clothes pins.

Make a clothespin craft to work on spacing between words when writing.

On the wet paint, glitter and sparkling gems can be added. Let the paint dry and embellish with additional items including gems, stickers, puffy paint, or other items.

Kids can make these clothespin spacing tools to learn spacing between words in handwriting for better legibility and neat written work, just clip to a notebook or folder!

How to teach spacing between words with a clothespin:

The clothes pin clip is perfect for attaching to notebooks, folders, or a pencil box on a desk. Students will always know where their spacing tool is...but how do they use it?

Use a clothespin to teach spacing between words the same way you would use other spacing tools.

Show students how to place the clothespin on the paper after the last letter of a word. They can keep the clothespin in place as they write the next word in a sentence. They physical and visual cue of moving and seeing the clothespin can make a lasting impact on spacing between words.

Think about it this way: the messiest written work is easier to read when it has space between words. As readers, we tend to fill in missing blanks using our predictive reading skills. When words are spaced out, students will be better able to read back over notes, homework assignments, and other written work.

Spacing is often times, the easiest way to make a big impact on handwriting legibility!
For younger students, using the clip portion of the clothespin spacing tool can be achieved using strips of paper to practice handwriting. Simply cut regular double ruled paper into strips and clip the clothespin between each word as the child writes.

Those strips can even be laminated and handwriting practiced with a dry erase marker.

Using the clothespin spacing tool can make a big impact on written legibility!

Teach legible handwriting to kids using a spacing tool for a visual and physical reminder to space out words when writing.

Looking for more ways to teach spacing between words? Try these ideas:  

 Use a clothespin craft to teach spacing between words for better legibility in handwriting.
Looking for more ways to address spatial awareness? Grab our free handwriting printable packet and you will also receive a short email series that addresses areas like spatial awareness, letter size, letter formation, and more. This is perfect for the OT looking for handwriting handouts, or anyone who works with kids on handwriting.