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Teach Handwriting

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Activities to Improve Tactile Pressure Skills for Handwriting


You need

Play dough, plasticine or clay, cookie/pastry cutters or imprint tools.

How to do it

Using tools such as cookie cutters talk through and show your child how the cutters work when you only use a small amount of pressure (it does not cut through the play dough, just leaves a mark). As you use a greater amount of pressure discuss how far the cutter goes through the dough and how the cutter feels against your hand/finger.  Ask your child to do the same thing and help them to talk through the experience making them more aware of how the tools feel in their hand and fingers and what the rest of the body is doing to help them  mark or cut through the play dough. Talk through how the cutter makes shallow cuts when pressed gently and deeper cuts when pressed hard and that they will cut all the way through if the right amount of pressure is used.


You need

Paint, printing ink /pads, print pens, odd objects to print with such as cotton reels, sticks and pencil ends, leaves, small toys such as lego or you could make your own print stamps with vegetables, bought printing stamps and different types of paper.

How to do it

Printing can be great fun, creating patterns or pictures.  This artwork can be used to make cards or wrapping paper which friends and family will always be pleased to receive.


How Thick Can You Go?

You need

Carbon copy paper, paper, pencils, tracing paper.

How to do it

Sandwich the carbon paper between two pieces of paper (make sure that the shiny side of the carbon paper is against the top piece of paper) and then draw or write on the top piece of paper. Then check the bottom sheet, has the drawing or words been copied?

If your child has not been able to create a copy then continue to practise with just two pieces of paper. When they have mastered this then, to help your child improve, and develop more of an understanding of how they implement pressure, you could add thicker paper or more sheets.

If your child has created a very dark copy or has heavily indented the top piece of paper, try using several sheets to start with so that the copy is fainter, to suggest a more appropriate pressure has been used to show your child the colour copy to be achieved. Then take away a sheet of the top paper as they learn to adjust the pressure being used. Eventually they will get down to one sheet of paper on top of the carbon paper.


This can also help build a child’s understanding of how much pressure is required. Using tracing paper ask your child to trace a simple shape or picture. Then turn the tracing paper over onto another piece of paper. Draw over the lines that show through the tracing paper, quite a bit of pressure is needed for this. When the tracing paper is lifted a copy of the shape or picture will be left on the paper.

If your child is pressing too hard and tearing the tracing paper try doubling it over, you will however have to use quite a bold coloured shape or picture underneath for them to be able to see it. As your child’s ability to use the correct pressure to achieve the best results for the task improves, reduce the thickness of the tracing paper.

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