Handwriting practice is part of the pre-requisites for entering Kindergarten. Children are expected to write their names and most of the alphabet.
The simple way to improve your child's handwriting is through practice! Like everything else in life, practice makes perfect.
Not all children are interested in writing, coloring or cutting. It may feel like a chore to them since they haven't developed their fine motor skills.
If this sounds like your child, I suggest simply working on their fine motor skills in different ways while still exposing them to paper and pencil tasks.
Before you begin handwriting practice, here are some must have items that will keep your child's motivation high and frustration low:
Proper size furniture - When your child is sitting, the table needs to
be at waist height and the child's feet should reach the floor. For
proper posture, their shoulders need to be over the waist and their
knees over their feet.
Small size pencils or crayons - Broken crayons are better than brand new long ones. Same goes for pencils. Children's little hands can control smaller objects better than long ones. Imagine yourself writing with a thick long chopstick.
Pencil Grips - These are not a must but can be useful for beginner writers.
1. Tilt the writing surface by placing a 3 inch binder underneath the paper. This tilt will make it easier for your child.
2. Do not use thick crayons or markers.
3. Crayons are better than markers. When coloring with crayons, your child has to apply some pressure and force. This helps develop their fine motor skills.
Use the 'Birdy' method to explain to your child how to hold the pencil properly.
1. Put the tips of your thumb and index finger together (like a birdy).
2. Hold the pencil between those two fingers.
3. Place your middle finger below the pencil for support.
4.Rest the top of the pencil on the top of your hand.
Here is a picture for all the visual learners out there:
The following preschool alphabet activities work very well in my classroom. As always, the key to getting your child excited about handwriting practice is by make it fun. Do not let your child feel like they are doing work. Work is BORING!!!
Practice writing in different mediums such as in the sand box or sand table. This is a great tactile activity that will work well with bodily kinesthetic learner.
Naturally, I would begin with the child's name. Pick the first letter of their name, then the consonants, and finally the vowels. If you choose to introduce a few letters at a time, you should follow the following combinations: cmat, srip, bfog, hujl, dwen, kqvxyz.
Writing on a black board gives your child the ability to use larger muscles in their arm, gives them more writing space and the ability to erase and try again.
Get great Discount Writing Tools from Discount School Supplies. You can find everything from easels and blackboards to writing centers at great prices.
This is a great way to practice the shape of the letters without actually writing them. It is a good start for a child who has great difficulty holding on to a pencil.
Put some envelops out and small pieces of paper. Encourage your child to 'write' a letter. They can draw a picture and sign their name while you help them with the writing. Connecting their learning activity to the everyday activity of giving a receiving mail makes it much more meaningful and fun.
On strips of paper, write items of things your child likes to eat such as yogurt, bananas, cookies, etc. Encourage them to copy the words and bring their list when you go grocery shopping.
Interpersonal children love to find out about the likes and dislikes of other people. Create a simple survey such as: "Do you prefer cats or dogs?" Divide the paper to two columns: Cats/Dogs. The child can then go around asking people their preference and add their names to the appropriate column.
Use these free Alphabet Worksheets to practice your child's letter writing.
You can also reinforce their letter recognition while teaching your child how to write their letters.