Just google "handwriting paper types" and you will get over 2 BILLION hits, WHOA! So yes, this can be an overwhelming area of handwriting. But also, a pretty important one. Good old pencil and paper is the foundation of handwriting. We are going to go through my favorite types of handwriting papers, when to use them, and why I like them!
First, I will say that choosing a type of paper should be very individualized and may take some trial and error with your child. What works best for one child may not be the best for another. It is OK to practice on a variety and get the child's opinion of what they prefer.
One of my go-to paper types is the double-lined paper from Learning Without Tears. It is quite different from the traditional 3-lines that you see in most Kindergarten classrooms. But children seem to really grasp onto the visual of the lines for sizing and correct line placement of their lowercase letters.
Another LWT favorite for beginning writers is the Gray Block Paper which gives a visual for sizing your letters.
Another paper type that I like to use for some clients is Raise Lined paper. Literally the lines are raised to give a tactile input when students are writing, which provides a cue for them of where to start and stop their letters. This is great for kids that need more than a visual, kids with sensory needs, or kids that are simply struggling with regular lined paper. There are a variety of options to purchase the raised line paper, or you can make your own by adding a thin line of glue on top of regular
Another great option for students is highlighted or shaded lines on paper. These two options are great to give a child a visual cue of where there tall, small, and descending letters should sit on the line. You can individualize to the child based on their color preference or what works for their visual needs.
You can find these easily online through google or Amazon.
These two paper options can be visually overstimulating for some kids, but work beautifully for others!
One paper uses a House to describe the lines, where you have the roof or attic, the house or main floor, and the basement. Then children can make their letters correspond with where those letters "live."
The other paper uses clouds, airplane, and grass to describe where letters should be placed on a line, with some letters touching the clouds while others sitting on the ground.
Both of these options can be found online easily, as well as many other creative paper designs to give children a visual imagery of where our letters should sit on a line.
Finally, this paper type is one of many examples of papers that have a visual for the start and stop of sentences and letter/word spacing. You can use stickers to achieve a similar effect, or color a green and a red vertical line for go and stop points. The purpose is to provide a visual to the student of where their sentence should start on the margins and where it should end. This paper goes a step further by providing small vertical cues for letter spacing. You can achieve this by using a Legiliner stamp if your student/child struggles with spacing.
We only covered a small sample of the HUGE variety of paper types available. My goal for you is to a) see that there are SO many more options that just the standard ruled paper and b) that you open yourself to trying a variety in order to find what works best for your child. These paper options are best introduced with explicit instruction of how to use them and by someone who has experience with the child and their specific individualized needs in order to assess what will work best for that child.
Let us know what is your favorite paper?! And if you have any questions, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.