Once school is out and summer vacation arrives, it can be tough to encourage your kids to practice handwriting. They’d rather play outside than do “homework.” Nevertheless, incorporating regular practice sessions can be key to maintaining skills they developed during the school year. So how can you make handwriting practice fun?

1. Use tactile letters

Grab a set of ABC Touch and Feel Letters or Sensory Gel ABC’s for a very hands-on writing experience. Have your children trace the letters with their fingers while identifying the sensation of each one. They can also choose a letter at random and then practice writing it on paper. For even more fun, have your child use their fingers to trace the letters on your back  or on a sibling’s back!

2. Have your child write out the day’s activity

Whether it’s a full day of fun or your morning routine before camp, put your kids in charge of writing the schedule for the day. Use dry erase markers on a whiteboard or even on a mirror! For an additional challenge, keep the writing surface vertical.

3. Switch up the medium

Instead of the usual pen and paper, turn writing into a fun sensory activity! Fill a shallow bin with sand or shaving cream. Take turns with your kids as they ‘write’ with their pointer finger to shape the letters. Work on grasp by using a dowel or a pencil.

4. Spell with putty

Writing involves more than just how to hold a pencil and knowing how to spell. Help your kids recognize the lines and curves that form each letter by shaping them with putty. It’s a great tactile activity, and also helps with developing their muscle memory of each letter’s formation.

5. Take it outside

Working on handwriting shouldn’t mean your child needs to be cooped up inside. Spend time in the sun by using chalk! Encourage your children to simply have fun drawing on the sidewalk. They’ll be working on their grasp and handwriting skills without realizing it.

Have you found interesting ways to encourage your child’s handwriting skills over summer vacation? Please share them with us in the comments below!