Handwriting Warm Up Activities


3 min read

Are you about to do some writing? Try these Handwriting Warm Up activities. They get your children ready for writing both physically and mentally.

How to use these handwriting activities:

  • Complete them before writing tasks
  • If needed you can also use these activities half way through the writing task
  • Choose 2-3 activities from both the Shoulder Warm Up section and the Finger & Wrist Warm up section
  • Repeat chosen activities 2-3 times and hold each stretch for around 10 seconds (unless otherwise specified)
How to use these handwriting activities

Shoulder warm ups

Desk Push ups

Start by standing next your the desk. Place your hands flat on top of the desk. Then bend forward by taking the weight off your legs and into your hands.

Advanced Desk Push ups

Follow the above steps by placing your hands flat onto your table. This time bend your elbows and bring your nose towards your table, then push up with the arms to straighten your elbows.

Chair Push ups

Start by sitting straight in your chair. Then grip the sides of your chair with your hands. Once in position use your arms and push up slightly lifting your bottom off the chair.

Palm warm up

Sit straight in your chair and then bring your palms together while keeping them at the chest level. Then push your palms together. Hold for few seconds. Then release the pressure but grasp your fingers and rub your palms together. Next, try pulling your palm apart while your fingers are interlocked and still grasping each other.

Reach the sky

Raise your right arm up towards the sky. Try to stretch it high. Then raise and stretch your left arm. Alternate the arms 5 times.

Shoulder shrugs

Shrug your shoulders up and down. Repeat 5 times.

Finger & Wrist Warm up

Wrist rolls

Place your arms in front of you. Make a fist with each hand while placing the thumbs inside the palm. Then rotate then in one direction. Repeat around 6 times and swap direction.

Shake out your hands

Place your hands in front of your body and shake them for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

Spider Dance

Lets pretend that each hand is a spider. Get them dancing by placing the tips of your fingers together. Then bend and straighten them while also pushing the fingertips against each other.

Imaginary Gloves

Pretend you are putting imaginary gloves on your hands. These are really tight and long. Start by pulling up the glove from the back of the hand all the way up to the shoulder. Do this by providing firm pressure strokes. Once the gloves are on be sure to get the wrinkles out in each finger of the glove. Do this by providing pressure to each individual finger by stroking it in an upward motion.


Hold your pencil in either a tripod or a quadruped grasp position. Then walk your fingers up the pencil. Once at the top flip the pencil over and walk your fingers up again. Then repeat with the opposite hand.

You can also complete this activity without flipping the pencil. This way you will be walking your fingers up the pencil. Once at top you will walk your fingers down towards the bottom of the pencil.

Pencil Jacks: 3 finger work out

The three fingers are: your thumb, your pointer finger and your middle finger.

  • Step 1: Stretch out these 3 fingers while your ring and pinky fingers are tucked into your palm
  • Step 2: Let the tips of these three fingers touch and then bend down as if they are doing a push up

Crossing Midline

If available place a drawn infinity sign in front of you. Then with each hand (pointer finger) trace the pattern. Make sure that each hand has a turn and switches directions by going both clockwise and anti clockwise.

Handwriting: Infinity sign


Check out additional activities on my ‘Play dough & Fine Motor Development’ post.

Disclaimer: The activities in this blog are intended for fine motor warm up and sensory play. They are not a replacement for treatment, are not medical advice and should not be used in place of the care of a medical doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. These activities should be facilitated and supervised by an adult. All activities are to be performed at your own risk and in no event shall Sensory Lifestyle be liable for any damages.

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