Kindergarten Teacher


Handwriting Practice with Apps

The iPad has many uses in my class but the area I feel it helps the most is with kids that are struggling. Typically when kids struggle in an area it is also something they do not like to do. Makes sense right? They don’t enjoy it or don’t have the confidence to try so they avoid doing it. That lack of practice compounds the issue. Handwriting is certainly one of those areas.  So we all try to find creative and fun ways to get hose kids to practice their skills… enter the iPad. Today my kids that need writing practice were eager to use the iPad to work on those skills and it reminded me how valuable this tool can be. When working on writing skills I typically have the kids use this stylus but not always. I see value in them writing with their finger at times too.

Here are a few apps I have used for handwriting (please tell me your favorites)

Intro to Letters (pictured above)

Touch and Write – allows kids to “write” with pudding, ketchup, paint etc. So fun!

Wet Dry Try by HWT ( I wrote an app review here on this one) – pictured below

Alphabet Tracing 



11 Responses to Handwriting Practice with Apps

  1. Thanks Matt. Do you worry at all about pencil grip? The child in the first photo has a pretty darned dysfunctional grip. Some OTs don’t worry as much about grip, but it’s really not difficult to teach either the tripod grip or the adaptive tripod, and will serve the student well in the coming years.

    • Matt Gomez says:

      I was expecting someone to comment on that! Thanks Liz for pointing it out. The quick answer is yes I am concerned with their grip and I like how you called it dysfunctional instead of “wrong.” My level of concern depends on the child and the situation but I do work with the kids to have a more functional grip. However, I don’t let that concern overtake the main focus which is to learn the correct formation of the letters. There are many people in the world that do things very well in a dysfunctional way.

  2. The (wonderful) OT who works with my kindergarten students has a very wise and useful approach to pencil grip: if the child can write and draw relatively efficiently, their grip should not be cause for concern. If, however, writing and drawing are awkward, slow, and difficult, correcting their grip is probably going to be helpful. I love this approach (especially as an adult who sometimes uses a quirky pencil grip to produce penmanship that is frequently admired), and have found that it is pretty accurate. It also relieves a lot of anxiety for both teachers and parents!

  3. @8amber8 says:

    Can’t wait to share these resources with my teachers when we get our ipads!

  4. DPark says:

    Letter School is another wonderful handwriting app. Write My Name (by injini) and I write words are also great. As to the pencil/stylus grasp: as an OT I think there are lots of benefits to kids using their index finger to write. It allows them tactile feedback and allows them to learn the correct formation without worrying about their grasp. If they don’t have a tripod grasp and you want them to use an instrument, have them use a small piece of sponge (like you do with HWT)

    • Matt Gomez says:

      DPark, Thanks for the suggestion. I will check that app out! I agree that using their finger is valuable. About a third of the time I have them use their finger instead on the stylus.

  5. MaryK says:

    Agree re: Letter School… I’m a parent of a second grader and his OT suggested it for at-home practice a year or two ago. We liked it much better than Handwriting Without Tears–he found the animation and sound effects really fun! I also like how Letter School is tiered in complexity and at the higher level, it will store and play back the child’s version of the letters. (Incidentally, it offers students the opportunity to use HWT-style letter forms.)

  6. virginia says:

    These look like some great resources. What type of stylus have you been using? I’m trying to find the best one for a 1:1 kindergarten class.

  7. Wendy says:

    There Are great triangular stylus’ (like app crayon) for the iPad that promote correct grip. My classes fav app is letter school :)

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