Children work very hard on handwriting skills each day during the school year. Don’t let the summer months slip by without encouraging handwriting practice. Here are some ideas to incorporate handwriting into vacation without bringing out the structured workbooks.
- Play games that include handwriting in the activity, like the board game Scattergories Jr. or have your child complete Mad Libs.
- Alter the rules of board games or card games to include a handwriting component. Have your child write their questions to play Guess Who, or write the new color after using a “Wild” card in Uno.
- Create a fortune teller. Put your child in charge of writing the words for the inside flaps. Here is a link with instructions. There are also templates for math-themed fortune tellers. We like to make ours with sensory activities written in them, such as jumping, catching a heavy ball, etc. Check out our indoor proprioceptive activities post for more ideas.
- Have your child write out a shopping list of his favorite groceries that you will be buying at the store. During the shopping trip, have him cross off the items as you place them in the cart.
- Take a picture of a family activity each week and have your child write about it. Young writers could simply label the picture, while older children could write a journal entry.
Summer is the perfect time to use water games to support your child’s sensory diet. Most water games primarily provide proprioceptive input, which is often calming and organizing in nature. Activities that involve lifting, pushing, pulling, dragging, squeezing or crashing all provide proprioceptive input. However, if your child has tactile sensitivities, they may find small water droplets to be alarming, uncomfortable or even unbearable. Let your child explore water games on their own terms and be flexible with the rules and expectations.
- Play catch with water balloons. After each catch, have each person take a step backwards.
- Make a water obstacle course. Set up obstacles for your child to go over, under, around, etc., but increase the challenge (and fun) by having him carry a cup of water through the course to dump into a bucket on the other side. Continue until the bucket is full.
- Have a pool? Blow up a dozen or so balloons and place them in the shallow end of the pool. Have your child compete against a sibling, friend, or their own best record to see how many balloons they can grab and hold under their bodies in 30 seconds. (When you’re done, make sure to clean up any broken balloon pieces.)
- Car washing sponges are a great way to add some weight to a scavenger hunt. Have your child fill a sponge with water and hunt for objects you have hidden in the back yard. When she finds an object, she should “tag” it by squeezing out the sponge and soaking the object, then head back to fill the sponge again.
- Print out pictures of monsters, cartoon villains, or another character your child is interested in. Hang them from trees or a fence (try weighting them down by taping a clothespin to the back so they don’t blow too much in the breeze). Have your child use a water blaster to take aim and soak all of the “bad guys”. The tube-shaped water blasters that squirt water out by pushing a handle are great for this.