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Saturday, September 25, 2021


Occupational therapists are some of the smartest people I know. I’m always picking their brains for ideas that will help children learn. One thing they’ve taught me is to practice making big strokes, shapes, and letters in the air before asking children to do it on paper. Think outside the box with these strategies to help children at all age levels.

Note! Even second graders would enjoy writing their spelling words on their “palm pilot” or tummies. 

Sky Writing (aka "invisible writing")
Keep arm stiff and extend index and middle fingers. Make lines, circles, slants, pushes and other strokes in the air.

Note! The teacher will need to reverse movements if doing it in front of the class.

Air Writing (Lisa Callis)
Go from large to small as you practice air writing letters, numerals, shapes, etc.
Stick out one arm and write with your finger.
Hold your shoulder with the opposite hand as you write with one finger.
Hold your elbow and write.
Hold your wrist and write.
Hold finger and write.

Writing Wand
Staple ribbon to a straw or tape tissue paper to a craft stick to make a writing wand.


Cut swim noodles into 8” sections and let children use these to write in the air.

Tummy Writing
Have children lie on their tummies and extend their index finger above their head. Practice making shapes, letters, etc. on the floor. (This technique will help children start writing “at the top.”) 


*Let children practice cutting, drawing, and reading on their tummies to give them control as they build upper body strength.

Body Parts

Let children suggest different body parts, such as elbows, noses, toes, etc. to write with.

Palm Pilot
Hold up one palm. Write on it with the index finger from the other hand. Be sure and “erase” in between letters!

Back to Back
Children stand in a circle and then turn right so they are all facing in the same directions. The teacher begins by making a letter, shape, numeral, etc. on the first child’s back. The first child draws the same thing on the second child’s back. Continue around the circle as every has a turn.

Wet Sponge
Let children dip a small piece of sponge in water and write with it on a chalk board.

Rainbow Writing

Make a large letter or shape on a chart. Children trace around it with different colors of crayons or markers.


P.S. You'll definitely want to download these free Letter Limericks that Mary Amoson created to go with the poems that my daughter wrote.

Hint! If you put these in a clear sheet protector, children can trace over them with a dry erase marker and then erase.