How To Improve Handwriting For Kids
Developing good handwriting skills is important for your child’s future success in academics as well as his career. Here are some tips and activities to improve your child’s handwriting.
By V Saravana Kumar
A beautiful handwriting always draws the admiration of everyone. Children with good handwriting are often seen as artistic as well as studious. It also ensures better grades in school as an answer sheet with a good handwriting makes a good impression on the examiner.
A study by Laura Dinehart titled, ‘Handwriting in early childhood education: Current research and future implications’, published in the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy in 2014, links good handwriting to better academic performance in students.
So, how can your child improve her handwriting? Although developing good handwriting skills can be achieved only through relentless practice, there are certain methods which your child can try. Some of these useful tips are listed below.
Tips to help children improve their handwriting
- Perfecting the grip: A child’s handwriting depends a lot on how he holds his pencil or pen. The ideal grip is called a ‘tripod grip’, where the thumb and the index finger pinch the sides of the pen or pencil with the middle finger on the rear. The remaining two fingers are tucked into the palm. Teach your child this grip as the first step towards developing a beautiful handwriting.
- Fine-tuning the letters: The way your child writes each letter plays a major role in defining how good her handwriting is. Have a look at your child’s handwriting and check if the heights of different letters align with each other consistently. Also make sure that she closes all the loops of the letters, and places the dots on top of the letters correctly.
- Using the right tools: The pencils or pens your child uses for writing should be good enough to help him write neatly. An unsharpened or undersized pencil will hamper his handwriting, so does a pen with a leaking nib or improper ink flow. Make sure you provide your child the best quality writing instruments which will make him enjoy learning to write.
- Understanding cursive writing: One of the basics of good handwriting is cursive writing. The curved styling of cursive letters makes your child’s handwriting look beautiful and neat. Get your child a cursive writing practice book and see how her handwriting improves.
- Practising regularly: Practice makes things perfect. Encourage your child to practise handwriting regularly. To make it more interesting, introduce some fun elements such as using multicoloured pencils or glitter pens, trying out anagrams, and writing on wall-mounted white boards.
- Strengthening fine motor skills: Your child’s fine motor skills influence her handwriting a lot. Simple activities like juggling a ball, using child-safe tweezers or tongs to pick up tiny objects, cutting paper with the help of a pair of age-appropriate scissors, threading beads onto a string, buttoning and unbuttoning, and using a tiny ladle to scoop out sand will improve her hand strength and finger dexterity. This in turn will help in fine-tuning her handwriting skills.
- Developing a positive attitude: Even if your child struggles in the beginning, motivate him with positive words and examples to work harder on his handwriting. The more he develops a positive attitude, the quicker he learns to write beautifully. You can also reward him at every step of improvement.
- Identifying the problems: There may be small niggles that slow down your child’s progress towards getting that perfect handwriting. From an uncomfortable writing desk to a problematic back, it could be anything. Make sure you identify the problem and rectify it.
Activities to improve handwriting
Handwriting practice can become boring and monotonous for your child. Introduce some fun activities in your child’s handwriting practice to make things more interesting. Here are some fun activities that you can try with your kid:
- Practising with salt or flour: Fill a baking tray with corn flour or table salt and ask your child to write the letters on it using the rear end of a pencil.
- Using a slate: Give your kid a slate and coloured slate pencils for handwriting practice. It’s like getting back to the basics, and she will love it.
- Drawing over lines: Get your child drawing books that have practice illustrations in dotted lines. As he draws over these lines, he will get better in maneuvering the pen or pencil with his hand.
- Modeling with play dough: Make your child model letters using clay dough. This will help him get used to the shape of each letter and make handwriting practice easier.
- Embracing technology: We have apps for everything, and that includes handwriting practice too. Download a good, child-friendly app which your child can use for practice. That’s one way to put the gadget to some good use!
- Strengthening the hand: Fun activities like pressing soft squeeze balls, arranging building blocks and popping bubble wrap activate the muscles and nerves in the hand and make it stronger. Let your child indulge in these activities in between her handwriting practice.
Importance of good handwriting
So, what’s the big deal about good handwriting? Why is it considered so important? Here are some benefits of good handwriting for your child:
- Strengthens academic performance
- Boosts memory and focus
- Promotes reading fluency
- Improves self-esteem and confidence
- Develops cognitive and motor skills
- Activates the brain
A beautiful handwriting is often considered as a reflection of one’s personality. Your child’s efforts to develop a beautiful handwriting will lay the foundation for her future success in academics as well as her career. As a parent, all you need to do is encourage her and provide all the support she needs.
About the author:
Written by V Saravana Kumar on 21 April 2020
The author is a writer, translator, editor, artist, graphic designer and a start-up enthusiast. He is also learning the art of parenting through his two teenaged children.
Looking for fun ways to keep your preschooler engaged at home during the pandemic? Check out Little Learners at Home, a home learning programme specifically designed for 3 to 5 year olds by our team of experts.
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