Play It Forward Therapy

Pixy Stix Cursive Handwriting Practice

Do you have a child who dreads handwriting practice?  Do you have a resistant writer who is hesitant to try cursive because printing has been difficult?

If the answer is yes, put away the pencil and paper and get ready for an activity that’s perfect for kids who hate to write, but love a sweet treat … Read on to learn how to help a reluctant writer to become more motivated and experience sweet success during handwriting practice.

This Pixy Stix Handwriting activity encourages practicing letter formations with repetitions in a fun and creative way. Kids can use their pointer finger to practice cursive letters while drawing on a plate covered in Pixy Stix candy dust.

Some children become so overwhelmed by all of the elements of handwriting legibility that they “shut down” before they’ve even started.

  • Multi-sensory handwriting practice reinforces proper letter formation and stroke sequence by providing touch and movement input to help children remember how to form their letters. This is called kinesthetic learning, by using movement to support learning and memory.
  • This activity frees up working memory and effort because the focus is purely on letter formations, so kids don’t need to worry about size, spacing or alignment (letter sitting on the line). Plus, when kids are engaged and associate a “dreaded” activity with something fun, they’re more likely to participate and remember!

The reason why this activity works is because it taps into multi-sensory handwriting practice by incorporating sight, touch, smell, taste and body awareness to reinforce memory and learning cursive handwriting.

Pixy Stix writing is an all time favorite, especially when working with kids with dysgraphia. As a matter of fact, I’ve never had a child refuse this type of handwriting practice!  Try it out and have fun!

You will need:

  • Pixy Stix candy
  • White plate


  1. Wash your hands!
  2. Tear or cut open the top of the pixy stix.
  3. Sprinkle the contents on the plate.  Use two colors for a fun color mixing effect.
  4. Practice writing your letters in cursive one at a time using your index finger (pointer finger).
  5. Gently shake the plate to redistribute the pixy stix dust and “clear the board”
  6. Feel free to lick your finger between letters.
  7. Wash your hands afterwards.
  8. Next, Practice the same cursive letters with pencil and paper.  Did the pixy stix writing help you remember how to form  your cursive letters?

OT Pro Tips

  • If you’re not a Pixy Stix fan, substitute with cocoa powder mix.  Alternative options are writing on a salt covered cookie tray… it’s not quite as tasty, but it gets the job done when it comes to letter practice.
  • Start with a few easy letters to start the activity off with success.
  • Provide a visual demonstration: Make a plate for yourself and demonstrate the letter first on your own plate.  Then have your child copy the letter on their own plate.  Or you can use a white board to provide a visual demonstration first.
  • After a few easy letters, start to focus on the letters that are the hardest to remember.
  • Write the letter in the air,
  • Write the letter with eyes open.  Then write the letter with eyes closed.
  • Once you’ve mastered individual letters, try writing short 2 -3 letter words.
  • Practice your first and last name.  Practice writing your signature.
  • Reinforce proper technique by licking your finger only after you’ve practiced the letter correctly.
  • If you’re not sure how to form the letters, here’s a link to letter formation charts for print and cursive at Learning Without Tears CLICK HERE