Sensory Writing: Vertical Writing Builds Core Muscles

This summer let your child continue to build writing muscles as well as core muscles while having a good time with vertical writing.

In these days of screen time and couch potatoes, it’s important to keep other options available, especially for sensory children.

Vertical writing and drawing will give them a good option for working several muscles, including their writing and core muscles.

Plus, it works their mind in a creative way as well.

Be sure to check out our other fun sensory activities for kids!

This post contains affiliate links.

Sensory & Vertical Writing: Tips for Building Writing & Core Muscles | Mommy Evolution

If you have had a child in occupational therapy (OT), you will have learned that the core muscles (back and shoulder muscles) as well as arm, hand and finger muscles are involved in the writing process.

Our guest blogger Laura from Windy Hill Homeschool is sharing her tricks to get your kids sensory writing and vertical writing! 

Just don’t tell your kiddo that having them practice vertical writing is your goal or it might backfire!

Just keep things fun and light — these activities are a blast!

Benefits of Vertical Writing for Children

Writing on a vertical surface, such as a chalkboard, whiteboard, or easel, offers several key benefits for kids.

Writing on a vertical surface requires larger movements, which can help children develop their gross motor skills and shoulder strength.

Writing on a vertical surface also requires children to use their fingers, hands and wrists in different ways, which can help develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

It also requires children to look up and down, which can help improve their visual tracking skills.

Learn more about why kids should work on a vertical surface!

Vertical Writing for OT

Vertical writing is a terrific outlet, but you can add to the fun by turning it into sensory writing.

My son’s first OT had him write vertically on a window with shaving cream, and he thought it was awesome.

It’s time to expand upon that idea!

Have you seen the Crayola glass markers?

There are regular washable, and crystal effects types, but any glass or window marker will do the trick.

Just ensure it’s easily washable or you might be living with red-stained windows for months.

Ask me how I know. Ahem.

Sensory & Vertical Writing: Tips for Building Writing & Core Muscles | Mommy Evolution

The great thing about window markers is that window markers can be used indoors or outside, alone or with friends.

If you have really tall windows, so much the better!

They can stretch and squat and get even more muscle activation that way.

And, a bonus for mom – when the play is done, take a picture so the child feels that the work is valued, then give your kiddo some damp cloths to give the window a good scrub!

It’s great exercise on a rainy day. 🙂

Sensory & Vertical Writing: Tips for Building Writing & Core Muscles | Mommy Evolution

Expand on Vertical Writing with Games

If the novelty of free play has worn off, consider joining them for tic-tac-toe, classic dots, drawing a map, or creating a word-find or crossword puzzle for each other.

You can try to stump each other with spelling words, play hangman, or really anything that you can do on regular paper.

Tracing a person is always a hit!

Additional Vertical Writing Ideas

Looking for other ways of getting some vertical writing and core exercise into summer play?

Why not try writing on the sidewalk with sidewalk chalk.

It’s super simple and what kid doesn’t love marking up their sidewalks and driveways?

Sensory & Vertical Writing: Tips for Building Writing & Core Muscles | Mommy Evolution

Additional ways of getting some vertical writing and core exercise into summer play include:

  • Sidewalk chalk on a fence post or deck railing
  • If a driveway or sidewalk is the only option for the chalk where you live, have the child lie on his belly (maybe on a towel if the pavement is hot!) and draw in front of him in the superman position.
  • Shaving cream on windows (I would make this an outside thing)
  • Sidewalk paint
  • Painting a fence with dad
  • Butcher paper or posters on the wall inside, or on the floor/ground (again, kids in Superman position). Use regular crayons, markers, or pencils!
  • Bathroom mirrors or shower walls are also great canvases

Mom Smarter! Not Harder

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    About Laura
    Laurke is freedom-loving Kentuckyian, wife to a financial planner and entrepreneur, and homeschooling mom to an eight-year-old energetic boy. In her past, she was a foster parent and worked in retail and on horse farms.

    Currently, she volunteers with a food pantry and is active in a local church. You can find her at Windy Hill Homeschool.


    This post is part of the Sensory Summer series, hosted by Mommy Evolution in partnership with The Sensory Spectrum.

    I encourage you to follow us all summer and visit our Sensory Summer landing page to get the latest sensory fun for your kiddos!


    1. Thanks for the great tips. Vertical writing is fun! My kids love writing places where they normally wouldn’t be allowed to, as well.

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