Sugar Aunts: Rainbow Pencil Control Exercises

Rainbow Pencil Control Exercises

If you are looking for ways to work on handwriting and pencil control, then you are in the right place.  This Occupational Therapist loves to teach kids handwriting.  Neatness counts when it comes to writing on the lines and being able to read that homework assignment a few hours into the nightly after-school ritual.  Today, I've got one easy tip for helping kids to manage a pencil with control in order to write on the lines at an age-appropriate speed.

This activity is perfect for kids from Kindergarten on up through school-aged.  Anyone who is writing with a pencil and trying to form letters on lines, copy written work, fill in worksheets, and take notes will love this handwriting exercise in pencil control.

Try these pencil control handwriting exercises to work on writing in lines with the small muscles of the hands for more accuracy with lines, legibility, and speed when writing.



Pencil Control Handwriting Exercises

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This activity is really, so simple.  There is nothing you need more than a pencil and paper.  We pulled out colored pencils to make our handwriting activity into a rainbow of color and to add a visual scanning component.


Try these pencil control handwriting exercises to work on writing in lines with the small muscles of the hands for more accuracy with lines, legibility, and speed when writing.

With this activity, we're working on keeping the pencil strokes within the lines of a small circle.  Draw a bunch of circles in different colors on a piece of paper.  The circles should be 1/4 inch in diameter.  Ask your child to fill in the circle with the matching colored pencil.  A red circle should be filled in with the red colored pencil.  The objective here is to fill in the whole circle without going over the lines.  Because the circle is so small, filling it in with the colored pencil requires very small muscle movements of the fingers.  A child who uses their wrist or forearm to write (such as a child using a grasp such as the thumb wrap grasp, for example, are over compensating for weakness and lack of endurance of the intrinsic musculature in the hand and utilizing a stabilizing grasp.  This overcompensation does not allow fluid motions of the fingers when moving the pencil in handwriting.  Because the circles are so small, the child can focus more on using the small motor motions to fill in the color.


Try these pencil control handwriting exercises to work on writing in lines with the small muscles of the hands for more accuracy with lines, legibility, and speed when writing.

Extend this activity to further your child's fine motor skills and pencil control in handwriting:


  • Ask your child to draw an "X" in each circle, without going over the lines.
  • Ask your child to draw horizontal or vertical lines within each circle, much like we did here.
  • Create a color coding activity: Match one circle color up with another pencil color.  When you call out a color, your child can fill in that colored circle with a different, predetermined colored pencil.  This is a test of visual scanning and quick thinking.
  • Draw larger circles and show your child how to fill them in with strait pencil strokes.  
Try these pencil control handwriting exercises to work on writing in lines with the small muscles of the hands for more accuracy with lines, legibility, and speed when writing.


This rainbow handwriting activity is part of the Rainbow Activities for Kids series.  Find more rainbow activities here:


rainbow activities for kids

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Rainbow in a Bag - No Mess Art // Powerful Mothering
Rainbow Letters Race to the Top // Stay at Home Educator
Color and Shape Match Up // Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
Stack a Stone Rainbow // Adventures of Adam
Rainbow Pasta Threading // Play and Learn Everyday
Rainbow Tinker Tray // Still Playing School
Rainbow Sun Craft // Fairy Poppins
Beginning Sound Rainbows // Playdough to Plato
DIY Rainbow Crayon Names // Pre-K Pages
Rainbow Puzzle Skip Counting // Creative Inclusion
Rainbow Marble Painting Process Art // Preschool Inspirations
DIY Paper Plate Loom: Rainbow Yarn Art // Sugar Spice and Glitter
Rainbow Sight Words // The Kindergarten Connection
Rainbow Fact Family Board Game // Liz's Early Learning Spot
Simple Rainbow Sensory Bottle for Kids // Coffee Cups and Crayons
Rainbow Paint Chip Color Match // Modern Preschool
Roll a Rainbow // The STEM Laboratory
(Not Shown) Rainbow Perler Bead Key Ring // Teach Me Mommy

Try these pencil control handwriting exercises to work on writing in lines with the small muscles of the hands for more accuracy with lines, legibility, and speed when writing.

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Looking for more handwriting ideas?  Here are some of my favorites:







2 comments :

  1. LOVE this idea!!!! So simple to set up and great practice. Here is a "rainbow" brain break activity that has rainbow colors Also here is a colorful printable with shapes that is the same idea as this but larger shapes Paint Shapes By Color.

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  2. Hi Colleen - I'm an OT Student on my first Level II placement - outpatient neuro clinic. I have a client who has quasi-global aphasia as a result of a CVA. He can somewhat consistently follow written instructions but his handwriting is terribly small. His frustration point is so low that I can't work on writing in treatment or he gives up, so I am working on foundational writing skills with my time and having him attempt actual writing at home where there's less pressure. Any suggestions to work on finger excursion? Thanks!

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