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Before starting to work on letter formation, joins or even the pre-handwriting patterns it is a good idea to help focus the body on the activity that it is about to perform in a fun and relaxed way.

The exercises only take a couple of minutes to do. Not only can they be done at the beginning of the session but throughout and at the end to help relax muscles and release tense that may build up over the session. Tense muscles can make handwriting difficult and make a child tire more quickly in the writing activity being tried.

Five areas to support the body with handwriting are covered in the warm up activities:

Try to do one exercise from each of the groups before starting handwriting. During or after a handwriting task and depending on the area of the body which a child may say is aching or tired use another exercise from the appropriate group. For instance, if they say their shoulders or neck are aching try the ‘Chair Push’ exercise from the Shoulder Stability section.

A set of 6 different warm up exercises have been created for you to use but you can use them in any way you like and introduce your own. Use whatever suits you and the child best, just remember to try and have one exercise from each group. You may find that certain exercises are best done a little while after a child has started writing and/or at the end of the session, this is perfectly fine, it is about what is best for the child!

Remember tense muscles can make handwriting hard work and will tire a child more quickly.

Handwriting warm up exercises

Handwriting warm up program and games

Handwriting warm up games - Whole hand activities

Handwriting warm up games - Thumb and finger strength activities

Handwriting warm up games - Wrist strength activities

Handwriting warm up games - Crossing the mid-line activities

Handwriting warm up games - Shoulder stability activities

Shoulder Stability & Strength

Handwriting warm up exercise - Hand Pushes

Hand Pushes

Handwriting warm up exercises - Up We Go

Up We Go

Crossing the Mid-line

Handwriting warm up exercises - Lazy 8s

Lazy 8


Handwriting warm up exercises - Butterflies

Wrist Strength & Flexibility

Handwriting warm up exercises - Wrist Circles

Wrist Circles

Handwriting warm up exercises - Doorknob Turns

Doorknob Turns

Thumb and Finger Strength & Dexterity

Handwriting warm up exercises - Hand Circles

Hand Circles

Handwriting warm up exercises - Tips Only

Tips Only

Tommy Thumb

Handwriting warm up exercises - Tommy Thumb #shoulder-stability #mid-line #wrist-strength #thumb-and-finger #whole-hand

Whole Hand Strength & Dexterity

Handwriting warm up exercises - Walk and Flip

Walk & Flip

Handwriting warm up exercises - Pencil Roll

Pencil Roll