Quick tips to help with handwriting
- Quick tip 1Use golf pencils.Use golf pencils.
To help kids get a better grasp when they start learning to write, try golf pencils. These are the small pencils you see at mini-golf courses and bowling alleys. Their size makes them easier for little hands to hold on to and balance correctly.
- Quick tip 2Try pencil grips.Try pencil grips.
A pencil grip can help kids learn to hold a pencil properly. A great grip is the kind that looks like a squishy blob with fingerprints in it. Or you can make your own by rolling clay into a small ball and pushing it onto the tip of a pencil.
- Quick tip 3Choose the “write” time to play with food.Choose the “write” time to play with food.
Practice writing letters in mashed potatoes, sugar, or flour. Spread the food on a flat surface. Kids can use their pointer finger to write letters or small words. Help them remember to move from top to bottom and left to right.
- Quick tip 4Use raised lines and textured surfaces.Use raised lines and textured surfaces.
Sometimes kids can’t feel themselves making letters when they write. Writing on textured surfaces helps. To get a textured surface, put paper on top of something bumpy, like sandpaper or a rough plastic placemat.
- Quick tip 5Emphasize the lines.Emphasize the lines.
Trace the lines on lined paper with fabric paint or school glue, and let them dry. The pencil will “bump” the lines when kids write. Or you can highlight the top, middle, and bottom lines for emphasis.
Handwriting is a complex skill. Young kids have to hold their bodies in a certain way, apply the right pressure to the pencil, and hold the paper. Then they have to know how to start writing the letter, where it goes on the line, and so on.
It’s no wonder that young kids have trouble with handwriting. But there are plenty of ways to help, including activities to build fine motor skills and sensory experiences to help kids get a better “feel” for writing.
Using multiple senses gives kids more ways to connect with and remember what they’re learning. This is called multisensory learning, and it may be extra helpful for young kids. Writing letters in shaving cream or writing on textured surfaces are good examples.