Do you ever look at your child’s handwriting and think it needs improving, but have no idea how you can help? This is a conversation that I have had many a time with parents.
Evidence shows that children are ready to use the traditional dynamic tripod grip (the ideal handwriting grip for improvement). However, before your child reaches this point they need to develop their fine motor skills, otherwise known as finger control.
Improving fine motor skills
There is a belief by many experts that children’s fine motor skills are less accurate due to the use of tablets and mobile phones. The simplest way to improve this would be to return to old fashion games such as Jenga and Lego. Both of which are known to aid the strength and control of a child’s fingers. Other activities such as playing with clay, string beads, cutting, colouring, laying the table and even folding clothes have known to develop the fine motor skills.
The good news is, it is not too late to start improving their fine motor skills with such games and activities. Each one will grow the strength and coordination in your child’s hand improving their stamina and control.
What else can I do to help my child?
Firstly you need to have patience, give lots of praise and allow plenty of opportunities to take part in both handwriting and the games and activities mentioned above. Generally schools teach handwriting weekly so it may mean your child needs a little extra time and support, adding pressure on them at home will not help them improve. Give them opportunities to practice with both their own ideas and tracing over well written letters, helping them to see the size and style of each letter shape.
Children also need to develop their pencil grip, a common problem is that they hold the pencil too tightly especially if they are finding writing a challenge or stressful. Another area to tackle and the possible reason for poor handwriting, is that children who are aware of their spelling errors or lack of ideas often use handwriting as a means to hide other weaknesses.
In conclusion, to improve your child’s handwriting follow these three steps: improve fine motor control and strength; give them lots of time to practice in their own way as well as tracing letters that are already written and give lots of encouragement in a relaxed environment.
Following these steps you should see an improvement – Good Luck.