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Reluctant Writers

Do you have a child who will avoid writing at all costs?

Maybe they say, “I DON’T WANT TO WRITE!”

Maybe it is less obvious, maybe they complain of a sore hand or find something else to do instead of picking up that pencil?

Even less obvious, they have a tantrum about anything to deflect from the writing task.

Maybe you have just had a parent teacher interview and the teacher has expressed concerns. Do you feel a little ill at the thought that you may have to tackle this with home schooling becoming a possibility next term?

Don’t despair, there are lots of activities to encourage writing practice even for the children who try to avoid writing at all costs. 

These are some activities you can do at home to encourage even the most reluctant writer:

  • Play tic-tac-toe but instead of using 0’s and X’s assign a different letter. Maybe you can use the letters “D” and “C”. Once your child has mastered their letter give them another letter
  • Take turns writing a letter (with a finger) on each other’s backs. The person then has to guess the letter written on their back
  • Use water and a paint brush and “paint” letters on the fence
  • Write kindness notes and leave them in a neighbour’s post box
  • Use a white board marker and write on windows or mirrors
  • Write birthday or Christmas wish lists
  • Write in the sand, air, shaving foam, or a tray of rice
  • Use food colouring and make coloured ice cubes and then use the ice cubes to write on paper
  • Mazes
  • Play a Mr Scribble game; start with one person drawing a scribble and the other person turns the scribble into a picture
  • Write a shopping list (more fun if it is for a recipe they want to cook!)

If your child continues to have difficulties with handwriting or complains of pain, contact an Occupational Therapist. There may be some underlying issues impacting their ability to write. The Occupational Therapist can assess and determine where the difficulties lie and provide strategies to assist.

Author Dina Whelan

Senior Occupational Therapist

Access Therapy Services

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