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Lets begin writing

To support children to get ready to write we have activities called 'Funky Fingers'.


What is Funky Fingers?


Funky Fingers a series of fun activities for children to build up their upper body strength (gross motor skills) and finger/hand strength and control (fine motor skills). There are a wealth of activities that you can do with your child to improve these skills and get them ready to write. I can recommend visiting the website  which has a lot of information on the different skills to develop as well as lots of great ideas.


On this page there are:

  • Pre-writing and early writing activity ideas to get you started
  • Videos with demonstrations of pre-writing activities and guidance
  • Examples of warm ups children can do before picking up their pencil
  • A video to demonstrate the ‘dynamic tripod’ grip
  • The letter families to help you practice at home

Pre-writing activities to get you started:

  • Complete activities whilst lying on their tummy, taking the weight through their elbows.    E.g. watching TV, reading a book, puzzles.
  • Climbing, seesaw, tug of war and swing activities with the child holding onto ropes.
  • Craft activities – cutting, scrunching, gluing and ripping paper and bending pipe cleaners.
  • Toy tools such as sawing, drilling, hammering, screws and bolts.
  • Games involving flicking small objects e.g. flicking balls of paper of a table into a ‘goal’.
  • Place a firm elastic band around tips of fingers and thumb. Open and close it 10 times with each hand.
  • Dough gym – pinching, pressing, rolling, squeezing
  • Holding a handful of items in hand and posting them into a jar one by one (buttons, coins)
  • Picking up items with pegs, tongs, tweezers.
  • Swimming
  • Ribbon dancing
  • Threading beads, straws etc.
  • Walking fingers e.g. along tape placed on the table. Ring and little finger curled out of the way.
  • Pop bubble wrap
  • Turn keys in padlocks
  • Tying knots into string and linking paper clips
  • Posting items into the ‘hungry guy’ (tennis ball with slit in the top)
  • Picking up sequins off a table or stickers off a sticker sheet
  • Interlocking construction


Early writing activities:

  • Tracing and stencil activities
  • Colouring in activities, staying inside the lines.
  • Dot to dots
  • Drawing letter shapes in the air to music
  • Copying over letter shapes
  • Drawing letters in sand or shaving foam spread thinly on a table.
  • Write with chalk, crayons, finger paints, pencils, pens etc.
  • Write letters in the air with eyes shut.
  • Recognition of letters through touch (stick letters, magnetic letters, fuzzy felt, sand paper letters).
  • Drawing or writing on vertical surfaces (chalkboard, whiteboard, tiles at bath time with bath pens).
  • Drawing or writing with chalks on the ground or pavement
  • Water painting on outdoor walls with paintbrush.


Letter family groups:

Long ladder letters:

l, i, t, u, j, y


One arm robot letters:

r, b, n, h, m, k, p


Curly caterpillar letters:

c, a, d, o, s, g, q, e, f


Zig-zag monster letters:

z, v, w, x