Children who struggle with handwriting often times benefit from adapted paper. These free printable sheets are perfect for kids with handwriting challenges that need bold baselines, colored spaces, or increased space on a page.
Children with visual perceptual deficits or visual motor impairments can benefit from these adapted paper ideas.
The best news is that this is your one stop spot for everything free printable paper!
Adaptive paper refers to any handwriting paper which contains visual or physical prompts to support legible and functional handwriting. This can include raised lines, highlighted lines, margin cues, or other visual prompts to support written work.
Your child who struggles with letter formation, letter size, line use, spatial awareness, or margin use will benefit from these printable pages.
Looking for more ways to address handwriting problems like these? Read on!
Types of Adapted paper
First, let’s go over the various types of adapted paper:
- Bold lined paper
- Raised line paper
- Grid paper, or graph paper
- Highlighted baseline lined paper
- Highlighted lower space paper
- Red/Green lined paper
- Sky/dirt paper
- Box letter paper
- Box and dot paper
- Wide rule paper
- Narrow rule paper
- Double rule paper
- Single rule paper
- Margin line paper
- Kindergarten lined paper
- Primary lined paper
In addition to these various types of adaptive paper lines, there are paper styles associated with handwriting curriculum:
- Handwriting Without Tears paper/Learning Without Tears paper
- Fundations lined paper
- Other handwriting curriculum
Free Adapted Paper
These are free adapted paper that is available as printables.
I’ll add to this list as I find them.
There are many ways to use graph paper in addressing therapy goals, so be sure to grab some of the free graph paper options.
- Paper in The OT Toolbox Membership Club includes several levels of printable sheets for upper and lower case letter formation and line use.
- This paper printable pack from 1+1+1=1 includes a variety of lined paper styles, both with and without letter strips right on the paper.
- This kindergarten paper that has a shaded bottom space or highlighted area for small letters is perfect for kids who need help with letter size, line awareness, and spacing.
- This handwriting pack from 123 Homeschool 4 Me includes three types of lined paper for each style to accommodate Preschool-1st grade, 1st-3rd grade, and 4th-6th grade.
- Handwriting Net has printable pages that can be easily individualized in several styles of handwriting, including print and cursive.
- These themed printable pages from What the Teacher Wants are writing prompts with a bold baseline and an are for picture drawing.
- This sky/dirt paper on Teachers Pay Teachers is perfect for teaching kids about line use and letter size.
ooking for more ways to support handwriting needs?
Addressing spatial awareness in handwriting is often a key component related to legibility.
In The OT Toolbox Member’s Club, you’ll find many forms of adapted paper including grid paper, lined paper, and more.
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
Why Use Adapted paper?
There are many reasons why a piece of adapted paper can be just the support needed to improve handwriting. Adding a small adjustment to the writing space can make adapted paper which offers visual prompts necessary for legible (and functional) handwriting.
Adapted paper can be used for reasons such as:
- Visual Structure- Visual prompts like highlighted lines, vertical lines of graph paper, or a bold baseline can offer the support needed for line use, letter placement, letter spacing, and letter size.
- Consistent writing space- Adapted paper offers consistent guide lines that structure handwriting, allowing for carryover of visual motor skills.
- Baseline support- Some adapted paper offers a visual or physical cue in the way of a bold baseline or a raised baseline. These visual and physical prompts may support improved baseline use for letter placement, letter sizing, and spacing.
- Visual scanning- Some adapted paper tools offer a margin guideline on the left and right sides of the page. These visual lines support visual scanning skills so that written work starts at the left margin without drifting in toward the middle of the page. The right margin line offers a visual cue to stop at the right side of the page.
- Letter sizing- Some versions of adapted paper include visual prompts or icons for sky letters, dirt or grass letters, and underground letters. This can improve consistent letter sizing.
There are many different versions of adapted writing paper. Trying different styles can be one way to determine which style is best.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.