Every year, on the 23rd of January, the US is celebrating the National Handwriting Day and on this occasion, we would like to share with you some Tips on How to Improve Your Child’s Handwriting.
Making marks in the sand while playing at the beach, messy play at nursery or simply a chunky crayon on paper is something that most children naturally attempt while growing up. As they adventure through school writing becomes one of the main focus points for learning and expressing their knowledge. Sometimes children or teachers can become frustrated with handwriting for a number of reasons. Writing may be rushed with little thought given to each letter, messy to the point of illegible or just too squashed together.
If your child is struggling with writing whatever their age how can you help them improve? There are many ways to improve handwriting including letter formation, pencil grip and spacing between words. Younger children can boost their confidence by practising the formation of each individual letter using a Handwriting Worksheet and let them practice as much as they like. We have put together some really simple ways to help your child improve their handwriting and grow to love expressing themselves through the power of the written word.
Making sure your child gets into the habit of sitting properly to write will be an instant help when it comes to writing neater. Follow the below golden rules:-
- Sitting at a table
- Sitting on an upright chair
- Using decent light (lamp or good natural light)
- Sat high enough to the table that they can easily see the pencil point forming the letters
Use lined paper
Help your child out! If they are just in the beginning stages of learning to write, using lined paper can help them write straight. It also gives them direction of where to go next. Writing on the lines helps with organization and even starts to teach your child the rules of writing. Lined paper can also help your child know how big they should make their letters. It is a great tool to use when your child is learning the difference between uppercase and lowercase letters.
The ‘Write’ Pen
Presenting your child with a generic pen or pencil and expecting them to flow across the paper like Wordsworth is something most parents know to be impossible! You can give them a helping hand by investing in the proper writing tools that will help them every step of the way. We love STABILO EASY Start Pens. It’s fair to say you wouldn’t give a child a huge bike and expect them to ride it so the same can be said about pencils designed for adult writing. With great value packs available for ages 2-6 Years, 6-10 Years and 10 years plus they can learn to control their pencil much more easily. Children writing with their left hand can find things a little more difficult than their right handed buddies. With classrooms generally equipped with stationery for the right handed user, it can make writing a huge challenge. Pens made specifically for left handed users ensure that the design is ergonomically easier for Lefties to use – instantly boosting confidence and improving handwriting.
Get a Grip
Having the correct grip on the pen or pencil is so important when writing and can be the difference between neat and untidy. Try and get them to position the pen between the ball of the thumb and the forefinger supported by the middle finger with the other fingers tucked into the hand. Some pens do a fantastic range of pens that have a visual guiding line for correct finger positioning. Designed by experts specifically for children to hold pens correctly Bic Kids are recommended by teachers!
These gel grips come in all different colors and can help your child with heightened sensory awareness. They may not like the hard feel of the wooden pencil or a plastic pen. Using the gel grips makes the writing utensil easier and more fun to hold. It makes the utensil a little bit bigger so our friends with smaller hands can get a better grip. This is also a fun way to help your child express themselves. Let them pick a new color gel grip each day to keep it interesting! They are affordable and easy to find.
Practice Makes Progress
Rather than making writing a chore encourage games of hangman, word puzzles or writing funny jokes and stories. Encourage your child to say words before they write them, using phonics techniques to explore letters and sounds. Make sure they remember to slow down and take their time, less rushing and more thinking about every letter formation is a great habit.
Repeat, Repeat and Repeat! Keep practicing using pens that are specifically for handwriting. TOP TIP – Keep writing through the school holidays to prevent losing all of the progress that they have made through the school year. Download fun handwriting worksheet from here.
Play Games and Make It Fun
Games can be a great way to improve your child’s handwriting! Using writing in a game setting can take the pressure off and also show your child how important writing can be. Children get used to writing in school on a piece of paper. Play games like hangman on a big white board with dry erase markers or Pictionary on a big sheet of paper to help your child use their writing and drawing skills. You don’t have to just limit this to family game nights! Pretend your child is a movie star and ask for their autograph! Using writing in a fun and competitive environment can be great practice and also make writing and drawing fun. If frustrations are mounting and motivation is lacking try inspiring them with fun stationery! Encourage them with a special pencil or pen that’s brightly coloured, sparkly or a novelty brand that they love. A cool pencil case to keep their writing pens and pencils in is a great way to encourage the love of writing and all things related to it.
Writing Outside the Box
Think outside the box when it comes to practicing handwriting with your child. Messy play and mark making appeal to children of any age and older children will always want to get involved with this kind of fun! All you need is a tray (if playing indoors), fingers, sticks or feathers. Try mark making with sand, flour, shaving foam, or rice. Writing names and words this way is so fun that children won’t realise they are working and learning at all! Another super fun mark making activity involves painting a thickish layer of poster paint onto card and using sticks to write through the paint. Don’t be scared to get a bit messy and try new ways to learn – the kids will absolutely love it!
Do you believe your child could benefit from Paediatric Occupational Therapy?
Some children have occupational therapy to help them with handwriting skills. Many children can improve their handwriting if they work at it with the help of support. Call us on Tel: 04 2776769 for more information or visit our website https://sensationstation.ae