Kirven has been complaining that his hand hurts when he writes, and I remember that feeling so well! In addition to just straight out handwriting practice, I've gotten the kids a couple tins of Thinking Putty. It's basically silly putty, only in a larger quantity and in lots of cool colors and heat-sensitive (remember hypercolor shirts?!), magnetic, glow in the dark... lots of choices. The idea is that it will strengthen all those fine motor control muscles, and it is something to do while listening to chapter books. Typically, beeswax modeling and handwork (to some extent) would fill this role, but there has been resistance to both in this household.