What does a rice sand tray have to do with handwriting? We think it’s a fun component of Twinkl Handwriting practice! Twinkl’s new handwriting scheme covers letter formation for the whole alphabet, and we’ve been testing the KS2 continuous cursive version. It’s suitable for KS1 and KS2 (ages 5 to 11) and available in both cursive and continuous cursive fonts, so you can select whichever activity packs best apply to your children.

Twinkl Handwriting logo.

Each KS2 activity pack includes a PowerPoint presentation, display posters, guidance notes, printables and worksheets. (It’s a good idea to run through the presentation and guidance notes, so you know how to use the resources.)

There was a hiccup with the Letter U gross motor warm up exercise suggestion; we don’t have a hula hoop. However, we simply subbed in the fun exercise from the Letter L activity pack. The fine motor warm up exercise is a clapping game, so no additional materials are required.

There’s a good mix of worksheets, suitable for different abilities and targeting different weak spots. Whether you need to focus on remedial formation and positioning, or joins and speed, you will find something suitable for practice work.

Twinkl Handwriting worksheets.

Letter U Extra Practice Additional Activity and Ursula’s Passport Application.

I’ve said it before but I’m saying it again… apparently, one is never too old for a sand tray! Even without a real sand tray, my younger child has acquired the notion that handwriting practice should mandate, “We must play with the sand tray.” I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this! However, it is unarguably good, inexpensive, classic fun and it counts as a fine motor exercise so it must be helpful for improving muscle control and hand coordination. We have always been Montessori fans, so this ties in nicely with our preferences too.

Rice Sand Tray

  • Tray* or other flat container
  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • Small toys, pegs, pencils or other mark-making items

Tip the rice on to the tray and spread it out evenly. Scatter the mark-making toys around the edges, and set out your pattern cards or just let the kids loose! If you’re doing this indoors, I would advise you to use a mess mat or other secondary layer between your sand tray and the surface it’s laid upon. However, rice is very clean and easy to pick up by hand or hoover. Simply tip the rice into a small plastic bag or tub, at the end of play, and you can reuse it indefinitely.

Rice sand tray in action.

Rice sand tray, with Pattern and Letter Matching Pairs Activity cards from Twinkl.