How to Improve Your Child's Handwriting
In an age of technology, written communication is less common than it used to be. However, an individual's handwriting provides information about their fine motor skills. Fine motor skills offer the ability to move all the small muscles in the body, including the hands, wrists, feet, toes, tongue and lips.
If your child struggles with handwriting, their education may be more challenging. Premier Pediatric Therapy's occupational therapy services can work to improve your child's handwriting and fine motor skills.
How to Know If Your Child Has Handwriting Difficulties
When your child brings home their graded homework assignments, is their handwriting sloppy or illegible? Are their grades suffering because teachers cannot read their answers? Trying to avoid writing tasks can also indicate that your child struggles with handwriting.
However, discovering why they're having these issues can be more challenging. Some children struggle to stay focused and rush through their assignments instead of taking their time and writing neatly. The cause can be more deeply rooted for others. A problem with visual-motor skills, hand or grip strength or posture can play a role in your child's handwriting.
Why Is It Important to Improve a Child's Handwriting?
If a child's poor handwriting goes unresolved, it can impede their education and cause frustration at school. Technology is prevalent in many classrooms, but before children can type on a keyboard, many students complete assignments by hand.
Handwriting is unique to each person and can be considered a form of self-expression for children — especially if it allows them to get their thoughts down on a piece of paper instead of disrupting their thought process to search for the letters on a keyboard.
Improving a child's handwriting can:
- Enhance their ability to recall information.
- Develop reading and spelling skills.
- Boost their creativity.
- Stimulate their brain activity.
- Engage their imagination.
- Improve their grades in school.
3 Tips to Improve Your Child's Handwriting Skills
One of the best ways to engage children who have trouble focusing is by making the task enjoyable. Consider the following tips and functions to work with your child at home and improve their handwriting skills.
1. Make Practicing Fun
Help your child make their letter practice something to look forward to. Switch up traditional handwriting lessons with fun ways to write, such as:
- Finger paints: Set your child up with a canvas and finger paints to let their imagination soar. Helping them attach specific colors to vowels and consonants can be a fun way to learn.
- Foggy mirrors: After a warm bath or shower, let your child practice their letters on the foggy bathroom mirror. This activity leaves no mess, making it a fast and easy addition to bedtime routines or busy days.
- Shaving cream: Spray shaving cream on a smooth, flat surface for your child to spread out and trace their letters. This method can help them learn without being afraid to make mistakes, as they can smooth over the shaving cream to create a blank canvas.
2. Improve Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills can help strengthen a child's hand and improve their grip on a pencil. Use the following household items to your child's advantage:
- Spray bottle: Let your child help you water the plants using a spray bottle. Repeatedly squeezing the trigger can exercise their hand muscles.
- Tweezers: Have your child use tweezers to pick up and hold small items for as long as possible. Better yet, turn it into a competitive game and time them to see how long they can keep the small item steady.
- Pasta or cereal: String uncooked pasta or round cereal onto a piece of yarn to make a decorative garland, necklace or bracelet. You can even decorate for holidays using cranberries and cotton balls.
3. Utilize Helpful Handwriting Tools
If you would like to invest in special handwriting tools, several options are available. This list includes some of the best options to help your child improve their handwriting skills:
- Pencil grip: Choose a colorful pencil grip to place on your child's pencil for a better grasp.
- Slant board: A slant board can help a child's handwriting by improving posture and hand positioning.
- Raised lines paper: Teach your child to stay within the writing lines with raised lines on paper, allowing them to feel the barriers of the writing space.
Occupational Therapy for Your Child's Handwriting at Premier Pediatric Therapy
Occupational therapy is the most beneficial way to receive your child's fine motor skills training in a controlled environment. At Premier Pediatric Therapy, our occupational therapists and assistants will work with your child to create individualized plans to meet their specific needs, developing and evaluating goals along the way.