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LP has been at school now for over two years and in that time she has gone from not even being able to hold a pen and not knowing the alphabet to being able to read and write. Writing is such a core part of day to day life and one I often forget that I had to learn at one point. But now LP needs to focus on improving her handwriting, making it smaller, tidier and easier to read.
But as a parent it’s hard to know how to help your children with their handwriting at home. I often sit with LP and help her do her homework or help her write cards for her friends and although she can form each letter I find it hard to know what input to give to push her handwriting in the right direction.
But Uni-ball have put together their 5 top tips to help children to improve their handwriting whilst finding the joy in writing.
There are five key areas on which to focus to help your child to improve their handwriting –
Choosing the right environment – by encouraging your child to sit at a desk or table you will help them to assume the correct writing position. The correct writing position will help your child to adopt good posture, which in turn will reduce unnecessary strain and improve stability.
Getting the right grip on the pen or pencil – if your child struggles with handwriting, try looking at their grip on the pen or pencil. A good grip, which is correct, will make writing more comfortable and will make handwriting easier.
Using the correct paper – using a school-style lined paper will give your child consistency between the learning environment at school and at home. It will also help your child to create letters which are the correct size and in proportion to one another.
Slowing down – we all want our child to write quickly and effectively. However, when trying to improve your child’s handwriting getting them to slow down is key. Slower writing will help children to have more control over where they stop and start their letters and will also yield less mistakes. Once they have the letter formation under control, you can start to introduce speed to their writing.
Making writing fun – learning handwriting and learning to write well can be boring for children, so trying to keep it fun and engaging is a must. Try playing games, tracing letters in different mediums. Even drawing and colouring will have a positive effect on their handwriting as it will provide extra practice for grip and improve fine motor skills.
As well as tips on how to improve your child’s handwriting, here are some top tips to keep learning to write fun at the same time:
- If your kids haven’t started writing yet, or are still learning we suggest allowing them to experiment by writing with shaving foam, paint, coloured sand, mud and hair gel
- Get kids to try writing with whiteboard pens on wipe-clean boards
- Try scribbling on a traditional chalkboard
- Use lots of colourful pens and gel pens
- Play writing games
- Drawing and scribbling can also help to improve fine motor skills, so let your kids have fun with pens and pencils!
We’ve been taking some of these top tips on board over the summer and have been getting LP to write things that she enjoys writing – a diary of the holidays, letters to her friends and thank you cards after her birthday party.
We realised that she enjoyed writing more when she could write things she had an interest in and also use a pen that she liked too – so we gave her a selection of brightly coloured pens to use and have already seen such a difference. LP writes better when she uses lined paper and brightly coloured pens – it’s just a shame she has to stick to plain pencils or black pens at school!
We’re going to keep helping LP as much as we can throughout her year at school and Little Man will also be starting to write properly this year too and I am sure we’ll be using these tips for him as well – although he usually insists on using a blue pen rather than fancy colours, after all, blue is his favourite colour.