Summer break is almost here and you can probably feel the excitement radiating from your students! The good news is that you can channel some of that excitement into fun cursive writing practice that supports school-to-home connections. Practicing cursive over the summer can benefit rising fourth and fifth grade students who need practice to prevent summer learning loss. Summertime cursive practice can also be helpful for rising third graders who are ready for a introduction to cursive. Prevent the “summer slide” with fun, flexible cursive handwriting activities that can be easily completed around pool time and vacations. Whether you’re an educator teaching summer school or a parent who wants to keep your child academically engaged over the summer, try these cursive experiences with your children!
We know it’s hot outside, but every good writing activity starts with a warm-up exercise! Try this one to get children ready for cursive writing activities:
- Prepare students for their first cursive connections by making big, swooping arm motions in the air. Ask children to pretend to scoop sand on the beach and put it on top of a sand castle. They'll learn how to mimic and change directions in a stroke.
- Students put left hand out to the left side. They make a scooping motion with their hand, as if they are scooping sand. They put the “sand” on top of sand castle.
- The scooping motion (under curve) naturally changes into a piling motion (over curve) as children pretend to scoop and pile sand.
Try different cursive handwriting experiences to keep your children writing this summer. When you find an activity your children love, repeat it! For all activities, make sure you use double line paper to promote proper size and placement of letters and words.
Here are line size guidelines, so you can be sure your child is practicing cursive on developmentally appropriate paper:
1. Where in the World Are You?
If an alien from Mars wanted to visit your family, how could they find you? Have children write down the name of their planet, continent, country, state or province, city or town, street, and phone number.
2. Leaves and Trees
This activity blends cursive handwriting with outdoor exploration! Get to know the trees where you live. Go on a leaf hunt and choose a couple to bring home. Tape the leaf to a piece of paper trace it. Below the leaf, write the name of the tree in cursive and how many of the trees are on your block.
3. Summer Poems
Help your child make up a summer-themed poem. To begin, Have the child write a list in cursive of easy-to-rhyme words (sea, me, bee, tree, etc.). Write a haiku in cursive with your child. You can also try finding an easy poem that you could modify like The Purple Cow by Gelett Burgess. Instead of “I never saw a Purple Cow,” write “I never saw a Green Pig”, or “I never saw a Pink Monkey.”
4. Vacation Destinations
Ask your child to think of places that would make a fun vacation spot. Have the place start with the same letter as your child’s name. Make a list in cursive. On the first day of the activity, have the child write the destination in cursive and then find it on a map. On the second day, have the child write down another vacation destination and find both places on the map.
5. Summer Memories
Have children keep a journal for the summer. Capture all the highlights from the summer, whether it’s a week at the beach or a new summer game invented in the backyard. Have children write down their experiences. Our grade level Writing Journals provide ample opportunity for cursive writing practice.
6. In the News
Share news with your extended family by creating a family newsletter with your child. Help children compose short articles in cursive about current family events and send it in the mail. Your relatives will be delighted to hear the news from a handwritten newsletter and your child will have fun practicing different names of family members in cursive.