One common question my daughter asks me when writing is: “Daddy, which way does ‘b’ face?’ I get similar questions with the letters ‘p’, ‘q’ and several of the numbers.
Apart from this, another tricky skill for young children to pick up when learning to write (and color) is staying between the lines. Among other things, this is due to a lack of motor control and hand strength.
In this activity, your child can practice writing in a fun way.
Objective of activity:
Practice writing within a given space and improve writing ability which means staying within the lines and practicing the orientation of letters.
Targeted age group:
5 -7 year old children or those who have started writing. This can include children as young as 4.
Number of participants:
The number of participants is only limited by the number of sheets you have for each child. Downloadable sheets can be found here.
This activity is very simple. Children are given worksheets which will have sets of three lines like the ones below.
At the top of the page, there will be a sentence that is preferably funny or interesting to your child.
Some example sentences are the following:
The child will then have to write the given sentence within the three lines as shown.
See how the upper cap letters span the entire distance from the top to the bottom solid line. The dashed line in between serves as the guide for where small cap letters should reach.
Once your child gets the hang of the activity, you should transition him or her asap to more elaborate patterns of lines.
Here is one they will really get a kick out of.
Below, I have included more sentences and more challenging line varieties that you can print out for your personal use.
Notes for scaling up difficulty:
Scaling up the difficulty for this activity is easy. Longer sentences and sentences including numbers as well as letters will provide an additional challenge. The easiest way to increase difficulty is to have more challenging squiggle lines.
For an added creative challenge, you can also come up with the sentence with your child and write it at the top of the sheet. Creating your own squiggle lines in a word file is quite simple.
But if you are happy using my templates for now, all you have to do to get started is to write the sentence you want your child to write in the space provided at the top of the sheet. A downloadable pdf of my template is available free of charge.
If your child finds writing the whole sentence difficult or if there is not enough space, you can limit this activity to short phrases and names.
Eg. Wonder Woman
Non-exhaustive list of possible sentences and line types:
If your child makes mistakes with ‘b’/ ‘d’ and ‘p’/ ‘q’ often, you can use sentences which have more of such letters.
a) Bob dug a big ditch badly.
b) Sally was piqued to find the queen’s pet puppy in a quilt.
Silly sentences will make the activity more interesting for your child.
c) The tall flea stomped on the elephant.
d) A witch threw icky glue at the zebra.
Tongue twisters are also ideal for this task.
e) If a wood chuck could chuck wood.
f) Peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
Include numbers for an added challenge.
g) Sally bought 6 oranges and 8 pears.
h) 3 blind mice ran up the clock.
Share in the comments sentences and squiggle lines you have come up with!
Download and print Squiggle Lines worksheets.