Graph Paper Letter Spacing Handwriting Trick

Writing on 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.

Today, I have a great occupational therapy trick and it uses writing on graph paper as a tool to support the spatial awareness needs. 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. We’ve shared how to use graph paper for therapy including many OT goal areas in the past, but this letter spacing activity is a hit for working on letter formation and spacing. Try using this trick when visual motor integration is a concern or when students have difficulty with legibility in handwriting.

Writing on 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.

Writing on Graph Paper for Legibility

This activity is just one of the many spatial awareness and letter size resources we have here on the website. There’s a reason why we cover so many specific tools when it comes to handwriting legibility: spacing between letters is a visual perception task that impacts overall neatness and readability of written work. 

When students who struggle with the underlying components of handwriting use regular writing paper or notebook paper, you can end up with written material with a variety of issues:

  • Inconsistent letter size
  • Mixed letter case
  • Inconsistent and sloppy line use
  • Words and letters that run together

Taking that a bit further, common handwriting concerns 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.

All of this impacts written work.

That’s where writing on graph paper comes into play. As occupational therapy professionals, we use graph paper as an adapted paper format for promoting spatial use, line use, consistent letter size, and even slowing down the written work. 

Writing on graph paper is a great alternative to typical lined paper designs. In the classroom, you see many different styles of lined paper: double rule, single rule, college rule, and then worksheets with varying line size and visual prompts. When we use grid paper in handwriting, we have a consistent box for each letter and even spacing between the letters. 

This post contains affiliate links.

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

Writing on graph paper to work on letter formation and copying skills

Writing on 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: (affiliate links included)

Each category of paper can be used with different ages or stages of writing development. And, those different types of paper variations can be used for different students. Use the larger grid paper for kindergarten or 1st grade. 

Use the middle grid paper with 2nd grade or 3rd grade.

Use the smaller gid paper with older grades and even through middle school and high school.

There are even graph paper PDFs out there. Check out our post on free adapted paper for some ways to print different options. These various templates are nice because you can try different options to find out what type of paper works best for the needs you are targeting. 

The nice thing about handwriting on graph paper is that a pack of graph paper is often used in math and can readily be found in classroom, plus it’s not a type of paper that will stand out among peers, so this makes it more likely to be used and carryover of handwriting skills to be achieved. 

 Tips for Improving writing with graph paper

Let’s take this handwriting tool a bit further and cover interventions that use graph paper as a writing strategy. The ideas listed below are some ways to improve writing skills, and you can pick and choose the activity ideas that work for the specific individual, based on needs. 

1. 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). 

2. Work on letter size. Use the grid lines as layouts to define a specific writing space for letters. You can target formation of tall letters by using two grids, or target tail letters by drawing a pen line around two grids (one above the baseline and one below the baseline.

Some students might need a more concrete version of the grid spaces. Cut out two boxes or one box and use that along a baseline on a blank piece of printer paper to practice writing different sizes of letters.

You can also target letter size by using a highlighter marker to identify the writing space on graph paper.

of the paper to 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.  

3. Finally, when the child writes a 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.

More ways to explore writing on graph paper

Other ways to use graph paper to practice handwriting accuracy:

The Handwriting Book is a comprehensive resource created by experienced pediatric OTs and PTs.

The Handwriting Book covers everything you need to know about handwriting, guided by development and focused on function. This digital resource is is the ultimate resource for tips, strategies, suggestions, and information to support handwriting development in kids.

The Handwriting Book breaks down the functional skill of handwriting into developmental areas. These include developmental progression of pre-writing strokes, fine motor skills, gross motor development, sensory considerations, and visual perceptual skills. Each section includes strategies and tips to improve these underlying areas.

  • Strategies to address letter and number formation and reversals
  • Ideas for combining handwriting and play
  • Activities to practice handwriting skills at home
  • Tips and strategies for the reluctant writer
  • Tips to improve pencil grip
  • Tips for sizing, spacing, and alignment with overall improved legibility

Click here to grab your copy of The Handwriting Book today.

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

Icicle Winter Scissor Skills Activity

Paper icicle craft

This paper icicle craft is a fun one for wintertime occupational therapy activities. If you are working on Scissor skills, cutting icicles into paper is a great fine motor task that builds eye-hand coordination, crossing midline, and visual motor skills to cut basic shapes. Be sure to add this paper icicle template for more tools for your winter occupational therapy toolbox.

Take fine motor work a step further by grabbing our new winter crossword puzzle to incorporate a whole winter theme.

Paper icicle craft that helps kids develop scissor skills, a great preschool craft for winter.

Paper Icicle Craft

Do you have a little one who is just learning to master scissors?  Scissor Skills for children who have never picked up a pair of scissors before can be very daunting.  Frustrations can build and the next thing you know, your little sweetheart is spiking the scissors across the table!  

Kids learn all things at different paces.  Every developmental milestone and functional activity are achieved at different paces. 

Scissor use is no different.  Kids as young as two can start to snip paper (and probably with an awkward-two handed grasp on the scissors!)  And as their fine motor skills develop, will achieve more and more accuracy with scissor use.   

This winter themed Icicle cutting activity is a great beginner project for new scissor users.  The strait cuts, bold lines, and even paper type are good modifications for a new little scissor-hands!  

Icicle Craft Beginner Scissor Skills Activity

Winter Icicle Craft

Preschoolers are just beginning to gain more control over scissors.  Preschool activities like this icicle craft at the way to go when it comes to building motor skills.

Strait lines are the perfect way to gain confidence when they are learning to cut…and ensure that they’ll want to pick up the scissors and try another craft again soon!  We started out with nice strait lines on these icicles.  Little Guy could cut the whole way across the page without needing to rotate the page to cut a curve or angle.

Draw icicles on paper to work on cutting with scissors. Great for winter occupational therapy activities.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

How to Modify this Icicle Craft

The smallest icicle could have been a harder task for him to cut, if he turned the whole page around like he started out doing. 

We used a few different strategies to scaffold this paper icicle craft:

  • Cut through the page instead of turning around corners
  • Adjust the paper weight to a thicker resistance
  • Thicker cutting lines
  • Trials with thinner lines to carryover the task with practice
  • Verbal and visual cues

I prompted him to start one line from the edge of the paper and then instead of rotating the whole page (which would have probably given him a big chopped off icicle point), I showed him how to start the other side from the edge as well.  He was much more accurate with the lines and wanted to keep going!

We had two different types of paper for our icicles.  The first set was drawn on a sheet of white cardstock

Cutting from this thicker paper is a great beginning step for new scissor users and a modification often used for kids with fine motor difficulties. 

The thicker paper requires slower snips and allows for more accuracy.  I also drew the icicles on the cardstock with nice thick lines.  This gave Little Guy more room to cut within the lines and allowed for less line deviation. 

The second set of icicles were drawn with thinner lines on printer paper.  After practicing on the first set, he was game to cut more  icicles.  The thinner paper and lines requires more control of the scissors and better line awareness, and bilateral hand coordination.

Work on preschool scissor skills using aa paper icicle craft.

  This looked like so much fun, that even Big Sister wanted to get in on the icicle-making action!

Paper icicle craft for the window
We hung our icicles in the window to match the icy conditions outside.
Looking for more ways to practice beginning cutting? Check out this guide to scissor skills.

More paper crafts for winter

You’ll love these other cut and paste crafts for winter. Use them in winter fine motor ideas for occupational therapy activities

  • Winter crafts using paper and a variety of textures for sensory play, motor planning, and motor skills.
  • Paper Icicle Craft is an actual printable template that you can print off and use to work on the scissor skills we covered in this post. It’s a great way to make an icicle craft.
  • Build a Snowman Craft– Work on scissor skills and fine motor strength to build a paper snowman
  • Use these paper snowflake ideas from our list of snow and ice ideas.
  • Use activities in our Winter Fine Motor Kit.
  • Use the printable ideas in the Penguin Fine Motor Kit for building scissor skills and hand strength.
  • Incorporate snowman crafts and scissor activities using our latest Snowman Therapy Kit.

Done-for-you motor tasks to help kids form stronger bodies that are ready to learn.

Use fun, themed, fine motor activities so you can help children develop fine and gross motor skills in a digital world.

Themed NO-PREP printable pages include tasks to address fine motor skills such as:

  • Endurance Activities
  • Dexterity Activities
  • Graded Precision Activities
  • Pinch and Grip Strength Activities
  • Arch Development Activities
  • Finger Isolation Activities
  • Separation of the Sides of the Hand Activities
  • Open Thumb Web-Space Activities
  • Wrist Extension
  • Bilateral Coordination Activities
  • Eye-Hand Coordination Activities
  • Crossing Midline Activities

Click here to read more about the Winter Fine Motor Kit.

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

Line Awareness Activities

alinement in handwriting and writing lines activities

Here, you will discover line alignment resources and line awareness activities to promote accurate use of writing lines. Line awareness is a handwriting skill occupational therapists often address to promote functional written work and legibility in handwriting, by offering raised line paper and other handwriting strategies. Let’s talk line use!

Line Awareness Activities

Line awareness refers to placement of the letters accuratley on the writing lines. When we form letters, there are differnet letter sizes that are placed in different positions within the lines of the paper:

  • Letters that touch the top and bottom lines (b, d, f, h, k, l, t, and all upper case letters)
  • Letters that touch the bottom line (all upper case and all lower case letters)
  • Letters that cross the bottom line (g, j, p, q, y)
  • Letters that touch the middle line (or middle space if using single rule paper: a, c, e, g, i, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z)

Line use allows for proper letter sizing and formation. Together these three aspects play an important role in legibility of written work.

Other aspects of line use refers to margin awareness or stopping writing before reaching the edge of the paper or writing area, and use of the left margin, or writing lists.

Typically, difficulties with line awareness are a result of visual processing problems. Visual processing skills that impact line use include: visual scanning, visual closure, visual discrimination, form constancy, eye-hand coordination, and visual motor integration.

Poor use of Writing Lines

Line awareness is a common struggle for many kids. You might know a child who writes with letters floating up over the lines, shows little regard to lines, or is inconsistent with line use. They might make letters of various sizes and write letters super big so that written work looks completely illegible and sloppy. Writing on the lines and using appropriate size awareness is an issue when visual motor integration skills are difficult for a child.

Perceiving visual information such as lines and available writing areas and then coordinating the motor movement needed to place letters accurately can lead to a lot of areas for legibility breakdown.  

A child turns in an assignment and the letters are written all over the paper. They started out writing pretty neatly. But then, as they thought out their creative writing prompt, you see the words and letters dropping below the lines. Some of the letters are too big and even are scooting up into the letters on the line above. All of these are examples of poor line awareness.

Many times, kids are working on neatness in handwriting due to letters being written all over the page with little regard to placement on the lines.  You might see kids writing with sloped arrangement as the words drift down over the lines or you might see younger kids who are making lower case letters the same size as the tall or upper case letters.  

They might write as if they don’t even see the lines on the paper.    

For older kids, they might not be able to go back over notes and understand what they’ve written in class.   

Line awareness is often times an area that kids need to work on when there are difficulties with legibility in handwriting.   

How can a child write neatly on lines of lined paper or worksheets when the letters drop below the lines?  As teachers and parents, it can become difficult to read their writing.  

How to Improve line awareness

There are many modifications that can be made to help with legibility due to trouble maintaining line awareness.  Kids can build the visual perceptual skills needed for line awareness with activities designed to help the child attend to the lines.   

Line use is closely related to spatial awareness that was discussed in yesterday’s email. Try using the tips and strategies in combination.   Here are a few easy hands-on strategies to help with line awareness and visual motor integration:

Here are a few easy hands-on strategies to help with line awareness and visual motor integration:

Use Beads to Help with Line Awareness

Motor Control in Handwriting

Line Awareness Quick Tip:
Work on letter formation before requiring students to address line awareness. Children are not developmentally ready to write on lines until between ages 5 and 6.

Fine Motor Quick Tip:
Help kids to improve pencil grasp and pencil control when writing on lines by separating the two sides of the hand. When writing, we NEED a stable base to support the fingers that hold and move the pencil.

Encourage creative play activities that separate the two sides of the hands by tucking a cotton ball into the palm when playing with toys like beads. Here is more info about motoric separation of the two sides of the hand and fun ideas for play.

Activities for Writing Lines

Below, you’ll find fun activities to promote use of writing lines for overall legibility of written work.

Creative activities to work on line awareness in handwriting
This post contains affiliate links.



More Ways to adjust Handwriting Lines:

  • Highlight the base line.
  • Provide bolded lines.
  • Try paper with raised lines.  This is the type I love for Kindergarten and first grade students. This type is recommended for second grade and older.
  • Try using graph paper.
  • For children who need more space on the page, this colored raised lined paper may help.
  • Use a movable baseline that provides a physical “stop” such as a ruler or index card.
  • Use paper designed to address placement on the lines like earth paper.
  • Highlight the bottom half of writing space
  • Trace baseline with bright colored crayon
  • Trace baseline with white crayon for waxy stopping
  • point
  • Marker on the bottom and top lines
  • Bold single lined paper
  • Low Vision Writing Paper
  • High visual contrast bold lined paper
  • Bold raised lined paper (in single space or double space
  • forms)
  • Adjust line height to fit the student’s handwriting
  • Raised Line Paper
  • Use a serrated tracing wheel to create DIY tactile paper
  • Make a stencil from a cereal box
Writing lines activities for occupational therapy handwriting sessions, to improve line awareness.

Want these writing lines tips in printable format? You can get this list in a handout to use in therapy. Just join our 5 day series on Handwriting Tips Printables to access this along with 4 other free handwriting handouts.

Join here, on the Handwriting Tips and Tricks printables series!

handwriting handouts
Creative activities to work on line awareness in handwriting

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

Valentine’s Day Maze for Visual Perception Activity

Valentine's Day maze

This Valentine’s Day maze is an easy DIY visual perception activity that requires only paper and a pencil. Sometimes an activity can be just easy to throw together and the kids love it.  This Heart Maze is a simple visual perception activity that can be adapted to any season or shape.  We used hearts for a Valentine’s Day occupational therapy activity, while practicing visual scanning, visual spatial relations, line awareness, and eye-hand coordination.

For more Valentine fine motor fun, use these printable Valentine cards for folding, coloring, and cutting.

Valentine's Day Maze for working on visual motor skills in occupational therapy interventions with limited materials, perfect for  virtual therapy at home.

Valentine’s Day maze activity

This visual perception maze is an easy way to work on visual motor skills needed for tasks like handwriting, reading, and learning. The hearts are placed in a path-like maze that challenges visual perception skills.

Kids can help with making this Valentine’s Day maze, or you can make a template and copy it over and over again. Let’s discuss how this maze works and how it and other visual perception skills helps kids with reading, learning, reading, and writing.

This post contains affiliate links.

Work on visual perception skills with this heat maze, for a Valentine's Day occupational therapy activity

Visual Perceptual Heart Maze Activity

How to make a Valentine’s Day Maze

You need just a few materials for this DIY maze, making this a good occupational therapy intervention for teletherapy.

So, grab your materials:

  • Paper
  • Pencil or marker
  • Scissors

We used construction paper to make a heart, but you could use regular paper as well.

It really doesn’t get much easier.  

  1. Draw a small heart. You can use regular paper or colored paper.

2. Using scissors, cut out the heart.

3. Trace the heart on a piece of white paper.

4. Place the point of the heart into the top of the heart so the hearts are connected. Trace the second heart on the paper.

5. Continue tracing, positioning the hearts in a line.  You want a “maze” to form around the paper. 

A heart maze is a fun visual perception activity to use in a Valentine's Day theme occupational therapy activities.

6. Fill in the blank space with more heart outlines, but this time, rotate the shape so it’s positioned randomly and not as close to the maze.

Use this Valentine's Day activity to work on visual perceptual skills in occupational therapy goals.

Next, you can follow the path of hearts and color them in. You could also place small objects on the hearts, like craft pom poms or mini erasers.

Another option is to use the heart template to cut more hearts from colored paper.  We used a darker shade to work on patterns as we filled in the maze. If two shades of colored paper isn’t available, just use two different colored crayons to color in patterns as the child completes the maze.

For children who are working on scissor skills, try using a thicker paper for the heart template. Cardstock is a great option because the thicker paper is resistive and offers proprioceptive feedback through the hands. Here is a link to pink card stock.

For more information on scissor skills and types of paper, try this crash course on scissor skills.

Visual perception, fine motor, eye-hand coordination, and other skills can be used with this heart maze in Valentine's Day occupational therapy sessions.

Visual Motor Maze

There are many visual skills being addressed in this occupational therapy maze activity.

Lining up the hearts requires eye-hand coordination to position the card stock hearts within the outlines.  Using the hands in a coordinated manner based on visual input is an important skill for many functional tasks including handwriting and scissor use.

This is a great strategy to support visual closure skills needed for reading and writing.

What Are Visual Spatial Relations?

Visual spatial relations is the ability to identify a form/shape/letter despite being rotated, and identify it as being rotated.  Children need visual spatial relations to identify the difference between a “b” and “d” and “p”, and “q”.  

This sheet full of hearts that look the same requires the child to identify the hearts that are following a path.  Some of the hearts not along the path are rotated  and the child should be able to identify by scanning, the hearts that are rotated.

Valentine's Day occupational therapy activities can include this hearth maze to work on visual perception.

Looking for more Visual Perception Activities?  

Try these:   Smashing Peanuts Activity

Elmer the Elephant Activity

Toys to Improve Visual Perception

Tangrams and Visual Perception

Visual Closure Bugs

Visual Perception Activities

Visual processing bundle full of resources and tools to work on visual perception and visual motor skills
Grab the Visual Processing Bundle to better understand visual perception skills through play and hands-on activities.

Need help fixing visual processing problems?

Know a student with identified visual processing problems…but difficulties are brushed over or missed in the school setting?

Have a kiddo on your caseload that struggles with visual tracking, fixation, eye teaming, or visual scanning? 

Need tools to incorporate visual perception and visual-motor strategies right into the classroom?

Wondering how to help kids who can not visually attend to an object in order to focus for more than a few seconds?

The Visual Processing Bundle is a comprehensive resource on oculomotor skills, visual perception, visual-motor skills. 

Details about The Visual Processing Bundle:  

  • Over 235 pages of tools, activities, resources, informaton, and strategies to address visual processing needs
  • Classroom accommodation ideas for visual perception challenges
  • Checklists for trialing various activities and strategies
  • 2 leveled visual-motor integration workbooks…with data collection tools to monitor progress
  • Pencil control worksheets to integrate visual input and motor work in meaningful ways
  • Classroom activities that can be incorporated into reading, spelling, math, and other subjects…reducing the amount of extra “work”
  • Activity cards to guide therapy warm-up sessions or used in home program development
  • Specific and open-ended activity cards to address visual attention and spatial awareness
  • Visual tracking guide explain components of visual tracking and specific activities to improve tracking
  • SO much more!

Click here to get the Visual Processing Bundle.


The Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit is here! This printable kit is 25 pages of hands-on activity sheets designed to build skills in pinch and grasp strength, endurance, eye-hand coordination, precision, dexterity, pencil control, handwriting, scissor skills, coloring, and more.

When you grab the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit now, you’ll get a free BONUS activity: 1-10 clip cards so you can challenge hand strength and endurance with a counting eye-hand coordination activity.

Click here to grab your copy of the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit.

Valentines Day fine motor kit

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

Wacky Wednesday Visual Perception Activity

Sometimes you have a book that is just so loved.  We have a few VERY loved books in our house and one of those books with the dog-eared corners is Dr. Seuss’ Wacky Wednesday.  We used the book in a visual perceptual activity and worked on the skills needed for handwriting.  Visual perception is made up of many different skill areas that are used in virtually every functional task we perform.  Handwriting is just one of those tasks that relies on appropriate development of visual perception.  Kids can use creative activities like hidden pictures and books like Wacky Wednesday to improve visual perception.  Try this Wacky Wednesday Visual Perception Activity and have fun working on handwriting skills in a wacky way!

Kids love this Wacky Wednesday Visual Perception activity while working on visual perceptual skills.


Wacky Wednesday Visual Perception Activity

This post contains affiliate links.
Wacky Wednesday visual perception activity based on Dr. Seuss books
Dr. Seuss writes as Theo LeSieg in his book, Wacky Wednesday.  It is perfect for developing visual perception.  The book uses humor through hidden pictures to encourage readers to visually scan and locate weird, wacky, and out-of-place items.  Each page is like a puzzle that will have your kids pouring over the pictures until they find all of the wacky images.  

Visual Perceptual Skills Developed by Completing Hidden Pictures

Hidden pictures and visual scanning activities like the pages of Wacky Wednesday are great ways to encourage the development and strengthening of visual perception skills.  
When kids complete hidden picture puzzles, they strengthen many of the visual perceptual skills needed for handwriting and other functional tasks:
Visual Memory
Visual Closure
Form Constancy
Visual Figure-Ground

Visual Perception Skills

Visual perceptual skills are addressed by completing hidden picture puzzles. Kids visually scan pictures and find hidden items, locate unusual images, and store those pictures in their mind’s eye.  Hidden pictures are a valuable tool for addressing the visual perception skills needed for handwriting.

Build these Visual Perception Skills by working on hidden picture puzzles

Visual Memory– This is one’s ability to store visual information in short term memory.  This skill allows us to recall visual information.  When completing hidden picture puzzles, kids visually store images of items they are looking for when scanning to locate a specific shape or image.  This skill is necessary for handwriting tasks when copying information from a source, such as lists of words, homework lists, and copying sentences. 
Visual Closure– This visual perceptual skill allows us to see part of an object and visualize in our “mind’s eye” to determine the whole object.  When we see part of an item we use visual closure to know what the whole item is.  This skill requires the cognitive process of problem solving to identify items.  Visual Closure is used to locate and recognize items in a hidden picture puzzle.  In written work, we use visual closure to recognize parts of words and letters when reading and copying work.
Form Constancy– This skill allows us to visually recognize objects no matter their orientation.  When completing a hidden picture puzzle, children can recognize the missing object whether it is upside down or sideways.  In handwriting skills, we use this ability to read and know letters and numbers no matter which direction we see them. 
Visual Discrimination–  This visual perception skill enables us to determine slight differences in objects.  In hidden picture activities, this skill is needed to determine and locate different hidden objects.  When writing and reading, visual discrimination allows us to perceive the difference between “p” and “d”.
Visual Figure-Ground–  This skill enables us to locate items in a busy background.  Finding hidden items in a hidden pictures puzzle works on this skill by visually scanning and identifying items within a busy scene.  In handwriting, visual figure ground is necessary for copying written work from a model and locating the place left off when shifting vision.
Try this wacky Wednesday visual perception activity to address the skills needed in handwriting.

Wacky Wednesday Visual Perception 

The book is one that we were handed down in a bin of clothes and toys that another child had outgrown.  It was apparent that the copy of Wacky Wednesday was a favorite book for this other child.  When we started reading it, we were hooked too!

Use the book to visually scan and locate funny items while addressing the visual perceptual skills needed for handwriting.  Then, ask kids to use those funny items they’ve found to work on handwriting skills.  Kids can list out the funny items that are wacky.  So, while searching and finding the funny images on each page, they can build the visual perceptual skills needed for handwriting.  Then, they can visually shift to write lists while addressing neatness and legibility in written work.  

Address visual perception with the book Wacky Wednesday.

Many times, a motivating subject or activity can be just the thing that helps kids want to practice handwriting.  Use the funny book that is Wacky Wednesday as a motivator.

If you are looking for more creative ways to work on the visual perception skills addressed in hidden pictures and relay them into handwriting skills, you are in luck! 

Work on visual perception with hidden pictures.


Hidden Pictures Handwriting Workbook

I’ve created this Hidden Pictures Handwriting Workbook to address visual perceptual skills through hidden pictures.  In this workbook, you’ll find two separate puzzles and related handwriting activities that can help kids address the visual perceptual skills noted above.  By completing this 11 page workbook, kids can use creative handwriting activities and themed writing prompts to practice written work in a fun way.  

Hidden pictures visual perception workbook to help kids work on the visual perceptual skills needed in handwriting


What’s in the Hidden Pictures Handwriting Workbook?

  • 11 pages of activities
  • 2 hidden pictures puzzles
  • 8-9 themed writing prompts for each puzzle
  • Activities to promote visual shift, visual memory, visual discrimination, visual-figure ground, and form constancy
  • Digital file that you can print or use on your tablet

We used the Hidden Pictures Handwriting Workbook on our touch laptop screen. Using the workbook on a tablet or touch device allows kids to visually scan and address those visual perception skills without printing out the color images.  

This would be a great activity for a group in the classroom or for kids who need an at-home activity.

Visual perception hidden pictures printable workbook for kids who are working on handwriting.

This is a digital file.  

Get your copy of Hidden Pictures Handwriting Workbook for $4.99.


Hidden pictures visual perception handwriting workbook for helping kids address the skills needed in handwriting.


Looking for more ways to celebrate Dr. Seuss?  Try the books in the Virtual Book Club for Kids series:


Green Eggs and Ham Letter Practice from Still Playing School

Alphabet Puzzles from Sea of Knowledge

Would You Eat This? A Green Eggs & Ham Activity from Sunny Day Family

Horton Hears a Who Listening Activities from JDaniel4’s Mom
Dr. Seuss Sensory Play with Kinetic Sand from The Educators’ Spin On It
Lorax Cause and Effect Matching Game from Inspiration Laboratories

Ten Apples Up on Top Printable Math Activity from The Moments at Home

Cat in the Hat Inspired Popsicles from View from a Step Stool

Modified Paper Christmas Handwriting Pack

Christmas modified paper for holiday handwriting for kids

It is hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner.  It’s just about that time of year when we have Christmas lists, to-do lists, letters to Santa, and thank you notes to write out.  

But what happens when your child struggles with handwriting?  

Writing out that Christmas wish list is a difficult task that brings out tears instead of holiday excitement.  I’ve got a solution for your kiddo with handwriting difficulties: a packet of modified paper for all of the Christmas handwriting tasks that come up each year.  Use this handwriting pack to help kids who struggle with handwriting to participate in holiday traditions while even working on and developing their handwriting skills!

Christmas Worksheets for Kids

Try this modified paper Christmas handwriting pack for helping kids work on handwriting this year.

Modified Paper for Handwriting Needs with a Christmas Theme

This handwriting packet will be a solution to so many handwriting needs.  It’s a 35 page handwriting pack that contains 30 different modified handwriting sheets.  There is a section that explains the “why” behind each type of paper and how they should be used to promote legibility in written work.  There is a printable Christmas themed writing prompt sheet to help inspire handwriting. There are two different sized line pages for each Christmas theme.  

This is a huge printable pack that can be used over and over again!

Modified paper Christmas Handwriting pages are great for kids to work on written work this holiday season.


Consider the ways that kids can write and practice handwriting this season:

  • Letter to Santa (Use the “Dear Santa” prompt page and additional sheets for longer letters to the Big Guy in Red.)
  • Christmas Wish List
  • Holiday To-Do List
  • Shopping List
  • Recipe Sharing
  • Thank You Notes
  • And more (There are a bunch of ideas on the printable writing prompt sheet!)
Want the packet? Grab it now in time for Christmas planning and your Advent calendar.
Dear Santa Christmas letter pages are part of the modified paper Christmas handwriting pack for kids.

So, what’s in the Handwriting Pack?

  • THREE types of modified paper: Bold lined paper, Color-coded paper (with Christmas-y colors), and Highlighted Paper
  • FIVE different Christmas and Winter themed borders.
  • TWO different sized lined of each type of paper: Narrow Rule for older kids and Wide Rule for younger kids.  
  • That’s 30 different sheets of modified paper all with a Christmas theme.
  • There is a detailed explanation of reasoning behind each type of paper.  This will help explain how to use each modified paper and the reasons why each type might be the style of adapted paper to use for particular handwriting concerns.
  • PRINTABLE Christmas writing prompt sheet.  Use this to inspire handwriting practice all season long in fun and meaningful ways…on fun Christmas-themed paper, of course!
All of this is available for printing as many sheets as you need throughout the holiday season.  The 30 handwriting pages, instructional sheets, printable Christmas writing prompt page is available for $7.99.
Use highlighted paper to work on letter size and formation, part of the modified paper Christmas Handwriting Pack
This handwriting pack will meet the needs of kids of all ages-From Kindergarten on up through High School.

What writing needs can be met with this handwriting printable pack?

  • Poor Line Awareness
  • Inaccurate Letter Size
  • Poor Spatial Awareness
  • Poor Letter Formation
  • Inaccurate Spatial Organization
  • “Floating” Letters and Words
  • Inconsistent Written Work

For those of you who would like to try just ONE style of paper for a lower price, you can.  I have broken the packet down into three sections so that parents, teachers, and therapists can benefit from just one style of modified paper.  Each smaller packet comes with 10 pages each of modified paper with a Christmas theme. Read about each of the packets here:

Highlighted paper in the modified paper Christmas Handwriting pack for kids

Who would use this modified paper handwriting packet?  

As an Occupational Therapist, I would LOVE to have this packet available for use during the holiday season.  As we get nearer to Christmas and the holiday break, kids start to get a little antsy in the classroom. 
Modified lined paper is a useful tool for kids who struggle with visual perceptual needs or visual motor challenges in handwriting. Children who write with letters placed haphazardly on the lines or have trouble with spacing between letters and words will benefit from this paper. Kids who write with letters of mixed size or those who write with a mixture of upper and lowercase letters will like this modified paper. 
Teachers in grades Kindergarten on up will benefit from the different styles of paper in this packet. The packet comes with different sized lines and a variety of rules with each holiday-themed styles. 
Therapists who work with children on handwriting goals will love to use the motivation of the Christmas and holiday season to work on underlying skills needed for accuracy and function in handwriting. 
Parents who want their children to write out Christmas lists or Thank You notes will LOVE this modified paper that allows independence in written work.
Use modified paper Christmas handwriting pack to work on legibility in written work.
Making writing practice fun and meaningful can be beneficial for addressing handwriting goal areas. Print off the pages that you need for individual students. 

Try one type of paper and then another to see what works.  When you find a modified style of paper that works, print off the other themed pages using that same modification.  
Bold lined paper and a modified paper Christmas handwriting pack
There are so many ways to practice handwriting skills in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  THEN, print off a few pages to send home with students for the holiday break. Students can use the paper to work on a list of writing prompts as part of their OT homework.
Work on handwriting with modified paper Christmas handwriting pack for kids.
Having so many different types of paper and border styles in one pack makes this resource easy to use for many different students.  Teachers can use the pack to address the needs of the whole classroom.
Modified paper Christmas handwriting pack for kids.
Parents can print off the pages that they would like to try with their child.  Use the writing prompts to work on handwriting in a fun and relaxed way.
Use this modified paper Christmas Handwriting Pack to work on legibility and handwriting struggles with kids.

Box and Dot Handwriting Strategy

This handwriting technique is a strategy that I’ve used many, many times in school-based Occupational Therapy.  It’s a handwriting strategy that uses boundaries of boxes and starting dots to help kids become more aware of letter size, letter formation, spatial organization, and use of lines.  

The box and dot handwriting strategy is perfect for kiddos who are working on placing letters appropriately on the lines with awareness of tall letters (b, d, f, h, k, l, t) that should touch the top line, small letters that should reach half-way between the top and base stimuli lines (a, c, e, i, m, n, o, r, s, u, v, w, x, z), and tail letters that should drop down below the base line (g, j, p, q, y).

Use a visual cue of boxes and starting dots to work on letter formation, line awareness, space awareness, and size awareness of letters when teaching kids to write.

Box and Dot Handwriting Strategy for Better Letter Formation and Spatial Organization

The dots in the boxes allow kids to practice letter formation by starting at the start point using the visual cue of a starting dot.  This is perfect for kids who are working on improving letter formation in a single stroke (r, m, n, etc) or letters that require the writer to pick up their pencil for portions of the letter formation (a, d, etc).  Sometimes, kids form the letters in “parts” as they build the letter instead of forming it accurately for speed and legibility.  The starting dot can help with pencil placement to address this part of letter formation. 

The sized boxes of this handwriting strategy are great for allowing kids to form letters with appropriate spacing, giving kids a definite visual cue for spatial awareness between letters and words.

Use a visual cue of boxes and starting dots to work on letter formation, line awareness, space awareness, and size awareness of letters when teaching kids to write.

This handwriting technique can be used as an accommodation that allows students to learn letter size, placement, and formation.  This accommodation can be used on regular paper, graph paper, or worksheets.  When students start to demonstrate better understanding on letter characteristics, the boxes and/or dots can be faded out and eventually removed.  

One strategy for grading down this tool is to first remove the dots from the boxes.  Other students may benefit from removing the boxes before the dots.  Simply adding a dot to writing spaces can provide the visual prompt needed for letter formation and placement. 

Another technique for lessening the amount of visual cue is to transition students to a highlighter space for the bottom space or bottom half of lined paper. 

Other times, using the boxes and dots on the words that are being copied are all that are needed for carryover of line awareness, letter formation, and spatial awareness. 

Use a visual cue of boxes and starting dots to work on letter formation, line awareness, space awareness, and size awareness of letters when teaching kids to write.

Love this handwriting trick?  Stop over to see all of the simple handwriting tricks for better handwriting in our 30 handwriting series. This post is part of our Easy Quick Fixes to Better Handwriting series. Be sure to check out all of the easy handwriting tips in this month’s series and stop back often to see them all.  

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

Sandpaper Letter Formation Trick

This easy handwriting trick uses an item you probably have in the workshop or garage of your house. Sometimes, a creative technique is all it takes to help kids work on letter formation and line awareness in their handwriting.  We used sand paper to provide proprioceptive feedback through the pencil while working on handwriting skills that might be difficult for some kids on regular paper.

This trick is a fun pencil control activity that is helpful for improving handwriting.

Scroll to the bottom to watch this Sandpaper Handwriting Trick. 

Use sandpaper as a strategy for helping kids to learn how to make letters, number formation, letter formation, spatial awareness, and line awareness in handwriting with a sensory, tactile, and proprioception activity.

Sandpaper Writing Activity

This post contains affiliate links.

Sandpaper might be considered a super tool in the Occupational Therapist’s therapy bag.  It’s a great medium for working on handwriting in several areas:  Using sandpaper as a base sheet when writing provides a surface for feedback through the hand.  This is one easy way to help kids who need to work on pencil pressure.

Read more about helping kids to write with appropriate pencil pressure.

This is such an easy trick for helping kids to work on letter formation, number formation, letter reversals, and organizational issues such as line placement (aka writing on the lines and in the spaces on worksheets).

All you need is a single sheet of sandpaper.  

With kids, sometimes a small twist on what you’ve been doing is all that you need to get the hours of practice to finally “stick”.  You might have been working on letter or number formation over and over again in a bunch of different ways.  The chalkboard, the white board, the fun pencil, writing in the sand bin…but give the kiddo a piece of paper and the letters are choppy, poorly formed, and all over the lines.

What is a mom/teacher/OT to do?  

Some kids respond well to repetition.  Motor planning is a good thing when it comes to letter formation or number formation!  However, other kids work well with all of the tricks but just can’t carryover the skills they’ve learned once they are required to write quickly or write an open-ended response (aka think while writing).

This sandpaper writing trick is one strategy that can help kids slow down, respond to tactile sensory input, and modify their pencil control given proprioceptive feedback.  

Here’s how it works:
Simply lay a piece of paper on top of a sheet of sandpaper.  And then write.

The sandy grit of sandpaper provides feedback through the pencil and allows kids to slow down, write with better pencil pressure, and be more aware of how their pencil is moving in the space they have to write in. 

Sandpaper provides a great proprioceptive strategy for handwriting. Different kids will respond to different grades of sandpaper.  This pack comes in an assortment of grades so that you can try more or less “sandiness” to the paper. A coarse grit will provide more feedback and a fine grit will provide less sensory input.  

Watch the video to get a better understanding of how to complete this activity. Show it to the kiddos, too!

Use sandpaper as a strategy for helping kids to learn how to make letters, number formation, letter formation, spatial awareness, and line awareness in handwriting with a sensory, tactile, and proprioception activity.

This is a great trick to use with workbooks.  Use several colors of colored pencils to practice letter or number formation with rainbow writing.  Simply trace over the letters with different colors to practice letter formation.

Using a sheet of sandpaper under a worksheet can allow for improved placement in a writing space by encouraging the child to slow down while writing. 

Try writing right on the sandpaper with colored pencils to really add a tactile strategy to letter formation.  Try placing starting dots along with verbal or visual cues to form the letter correctly.  The tactile feedback will add a “memory” to forming the letter. 

Use sandpaper as a strategy for helping kids to learn how to make letters, number formation, letter formation, spatial awareness, and line awareness in handwriting with a sensory, tactile, and proprioception activity.

This is a great strategy for helping kids to address letter reversals.

Use sandpaper as a strategy for helping kids to learn how to make letters, number formation, letter formation, spatial awareness, and line awareness in handwriting with a sensory, tactile, and proprioception activity.

One last way to use sandpaper in handwriting is to draw lines on the sandpaper and ask the child to write on the lines with colored pencils.  While this is not a practical strategy for written work, it’s a great way to practice line awareness and spatial organization skills.  Once the sandpaper is filled up with writing, use it as a base for placing paper on top.  

MORE ways to practice handwriting using sandpaper:

Try using these Pencil Mazes over the sandpaper to work on pencil control.
Work on pencil control and accuracy with Pencil Obstacle Courses

Use sandpaper as a strategy for helping kids to learn how to make letters, number formation, letter formation, spatial awareness, and line awareness in handwriting with a sensory, tactile, and proprioception activity.

Like this handwriting tip?  Try all of the strategies in our Easy Quick Fixes to Better Handwriting series. Be sure to check out all of the easy handwriting tips in this month’s series and stop back often to see them all.  

Watch the video on this Sandpaper Handwriting Trick:

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