Child sits on a deck drawing with sidewalk chalk. Using fun materials is a great way to incentivize your child to practice writing.

7 Fun Ways to Practice Writing Without Paper & Pen

Expressing ideas, making meaning, strengthening fine motor skills, and practicing phonological awareness —- the reasons to practice writing are numerous and compelling. And while workbooks and good, old-fashioned paper and pencil have their place, finding fun ways to practice writing with young children is a great way to grow a love and aptitude for this very important skill. Read on for a few creative ideas to make writing practice entertaining!

  1. Use Fun Materials - Kids love trying new things, so when you challenge them to write their alphabet or sight words with chalk, stamps, shaving cream, or even just some cool colored markers, they’ll jump at the chance to experiment with new materials.
  2. Alphabet Blocks/ Magnets - Keep your child occupied while you’re cooking dinner or working at your desk by simply giving them a set of alphabet blocks or magnets and having them spell words. You can dictate the words yourself or give them a flash card with simple sight words (one at a time) and see if they can match up the letters.
  3. Reminder Board - Make your child a big helper by putting them in charge of the family “reminder board”. Place a mini-chalkboard on the fridge and ask them to write reminders on it for you whenever the opportunity arises. Be sure to make a big fuss whenever their reminders come in handy!
  4. Write the Grocery List - In the same vein as the reminder board, having your child write out your grocery list is a great way to make them feel like an important contributor to the family while exercising spelling and handwriting skills.
  5. Make Cards - Making cards for relatives, deployed soldiers, or homebound seniors combines creativity with compassion and gives the added benefit of writing practice. Be sure to let your child put their cards in the mail slot themselves!
  6. Labeling - Give your child another opportunity to be “helpful” by having them make labels around the house. You’d be surprised by how engaged kids can be with a few markers and some sticker-like materials. They can do something silly like give all of their stuffed animals name tags, or something useful like labeling all the toy bins in their room.
  7. Make Word Collages - For those children who are able to handle scissors, making collages is an artistic way to practice writing. Have them create a picture using photos from old magazines and then ask them to label it by cutting out letters from those same magazines and building their words. Older children can cut out whole words and create silly sentences!

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