A teacher works with two early-years pupils

Handwriting requires stability from the whole body, not just the hand, to become easy, comfortable and ‘second-nature’. These exercises are fun, quick and useful for helping learners who are struggling with handwriting to develop their fine motor skills. Join our Key Stage 1 and 2 writing webinars for more ideas!

1. Big arm circles

Make sure the learner has a lot of space around them and have them stretch their arms either side of them. Then ask them to make circles with their arms, decreasing in size and then getting larger again. You can use balls as a reference for size – tennis, football, beachball. Repeat this exercise a few times.

2. Coin manipulation

Give the learner a coin or other small, thin object. Ask them to try to flip it or manipulate it between their fingers.

3. Wall press-ups

Like a normal press-up, but vertical! Ask the learner to focus on how their arms, wrists and hands feel. Try to do a rep of between 5 and 10 press-ups against the wall.

4. Creepy crawly

Roll out 6 or 7 squares of toilet roll. Ask the learner to sit with their wrists on the table-top and try to scoop the paper up and scrunch it using only their thumb. Don’t let them move their wrist from the table! Turn it into a game by timing how quickly they can scrunch the paper up.

5. Chair press-ups

Another one you’ll need a decent amount of space for! Grab a chair and position it so the learner can balance on their seat by hands, with their torso and legs stretched out behind them. It should look like a semi-horizontal push up. Try to do between 5 and 10 chair press-ups.

6. Paper scrunch

A fun (and potentially slightly messy) whole-class activity: scrunch up any scrap paper into tiny balls and throw them into your recycling  bins for some great aiming practice.

Find over 50 free teaching resources on our resources hub. Join one of our flexible, topical webinars this autumn, or sign up for our six-week online course for literacy leads.

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