by Katie Timp, OTR/L
If your child is a beginning writer, start by tracing letters in different textures:
- Shaving cream on the bath tub
- Roll out “worms” of playdoh and attach together to create each letter
- Glue on a paper in the shape of the letter and have child place different items on glue (beads, sequins, pom poms, etc.)
Teach unknown letters by singing the ABC song, books or fun songs. If your child does not know what the letters are, it is difficult for them to know how to write each letter.
Positioning – This is a key component of handwriting success! When writing, children should be sitting upright with feet on the floor.
Grip/Grasp – If your child uses a “fisted” grasp, you can try easing them into a more age appropriate grasp by using a penny, pom pom, makeup pad or anything small they can hold under their last 2 fingers. This will encourage them to tuck their last 2 fingers under the pencil. Another trick is to break a crayon in half, which will “force” your child into an appropriate grasp. Use a pencil grip to increase grasp.
Light pressure - try putting weight on the end of the pencil using a couple nuts and rubber-bands. This adds weight to the pencil and then paper.
Dark pressure - they might be seeking input through the pressure on the paper. Try 10 finger pushups before writing. This will give some of that input your child is seeking, hopefully reducing the amount of input they will seek from the pencil.
Sizing – Used raised paper, highlighter, or Wikki Stix to trace lines of paper to provide a visual for your child.
Spacing – Encourage your child to put their non writing hand pointer finger next to the word and begin the next word beside it. This will give the appropriate amount of room between each word.
Letter Reversals – Teach strategies for writing such as these strategies for common reversed letters
-Frog jump letters: F, E, D, P, B, R, N, M; make a big line down and frog jump back to the top then finish the letter
-Magic c letters: c, o, d, a, g, q; begin each of these letters with a magic c, then finish the letter
If your child’s handwriting problems persist, seek the assistance of an occupational therapist through therapy.
Did You Know . . .
. . . that your child's handwriting skills can be enhanced if his or her core muscles are strong? Did you also know that yoga helps to strength one's core? Check out the following yoga poses that will help your child to de-stress and focus . . . and just in time for school too!!
Thanks for reading our blog post! We hope that you've found this information to be helpful!
Until next time . . .