Saturday, March 13, 2010

Handwriting Tips for Little Hands

Handwriting Matters.

One of the most overlooked things in school is penmanship. I find this heartbreaking.

Penmanship does so much more than create neat handwriting. It helps with discipline and focus--both traits needed to get the perfect loops, the perfect lines and the correct spacing.

I admit I am that mom who will crumble a paper my girls have spent time on simply because the handwriting is sloppy. How can you be proud of your work if you can barely read it? Yes, it is a little harsh but trust me, it takes less than a couple times for them to get the handwriting legible!

Dino, on the other hand, has issues with his fine motor skills. The pencil grip is extremely difficult for him. To be honest, the tripod grip is next to impossible so we have adapted using just two fingers on top. The one thing I won’t let him do is the fist grip--using three (or more) fingers to hold the pencil. You press down too hard with this grip and you can’t get a solid fluid control. If you see your kids holding the pencils this way, please keep reading. (If you are completely in the dark with all of this--check out this video ).

I have a number of tools to help Dino hold his pencil right--a grip, a special pencil and ‘flip-crayons’. I love all of these because they force Dino to hold his pencil correctly.

Another thing to help is something as simple as Play-Doh. Making shapes, rolling and other Play-Doh activities actually build muscles in little fingers. A very favorite activity here is rolling letter shapes and placing them on cookie sheets---phonics lesson and fine motor exercise at the same time!

Handwriting Without Tears” is an excellent program to help kids with handwriting. I love the stamp and see board. They use one of four shapes to ‘build’ letters. It teaches how the letters are made and of course more fine motor exercise!

Dino is not a fan of handwriting but it’s one of those “has to be done” things. With the tools above, hopefully Dino will get the hang of it!


Anti-Supermom said...

I have horrible penmanship, thanks for the tips (not just for my kids) ;)

Anonymous said...

If it's any comfort, I never mastered the conventional pencil grip and always used two fingers on top instead. Over the years, countless people have told me how my printing looks like a font because it's so precise and neat. Using the recommended grip never worked so well and things were messier. Good luck to the kiddo!