Handwriting tips for better legibility
To improve your legibility try these handwriting tips
Plan to do handwriting on a daily basis until your child can remember how to form the letters and do it reasonably well. Make certain that your child follows the arrows (or writes in the correct direction) when forming letters. Be certain that you supervise your child because it is very difficult to un-teach something that your child has taught himself to do the wrong way. Some children can’t decide which hand to write with. Please do not fret over that, let him decide which hand he will write with that day. Someday he will settle on his preferred hand. After your child can remember how to form the letters and do it reasonably well, you should have handwriting classes as needed and you will decide that based on how well your child is doing.
You will know that your child's handwriting legibility is improving when....
- When all of the short lower case letters are of the same height.
- When all of the upper case letters and tall letters are the appropriate height.
- When his words are evenly spaced.
- When the letters in the words that he writes are spaced properly.
- When the letters have a similar slant.
- When all of the letters are “seated” on the line.
These Activities To Develop Handwriting Skills
There are significant prerequisites for writing skills that begin in infancy and continue to emerge through the preschool years. The following activities support and promote fine motor and visual motor development:
The joints of the body need to be stable before the hands can be free to focus on specific skilled fine motor tasks.
1. Wheelbarrow walking, crab walking, and wall push-ups.
2. Toys: silly putty, and monkey bars on the playground.
Fine Motor Skills
When fine motor skills are developed it is easy to improve the legibility as better writing control of the pen is achieved. When a certain amount of body stability has developed, the hands and fingers begin to work on movements of dexterity and isolation as well as different kinds of grasps. Children will develop fine motor skills best when they work on a VERTICAL or near vertical surface as much as possible. In particular, the wrist must be in extension. (Bent back in the direction of the hand)
- Attach a large piece of drawing paper to the wall. Have the child use a large marker and try the following exercises to develop visual motor skills: Make an outline of a one at a time. Have the child trace over your line from left to right, or from top to bottom. Trace each figure at least 10 times. Then have the child draw the figure next to your model several times.
- Play connect the dots. Again make sure the child's strokes connect dots from left to right, and from top to bottom.
- Trace around stencils - the non-dominant hand should hold the stencil flat and stable against the paper, while the dominant hand pushes the pencil firmly against the edge of the stencil. The stencil must be held firmly.
- Attach a large piece of felt to the wall, or use a felt board. The child can use felt shapes to make pictures. Magnetic boards can be used the same way.
- Have the child work on a chalkboard, using chalk instead of a marker. Do the same kinds of tracing and modeling activities as suggested above.
Ocular Motor Control
This refers to the ability of the eyes to work together to follow and hold an object in the line of vision as needed.
- Use a flashlight against the ceiling. Have the child lie on his/her back or tummy and visually follow the moving light from left to right, top to bottom, and diagonally.
- Find hidden pictures in books. (There are special books for this.)
- Maze activities. (You can buy these in bookstores)
- Eye-hand Coordination
This involves accuracy in placement, direction, and spatial awareness.
- Throw bean bags/koosh balls into a hula hoop (A hula hoop is a toy hoop, usually made of plastic, that is twirled around the waist, limbs, or neck.) placed flat on the floor. Gradually increase the distance.
- Play throw and catch with a ball . Start with a large ball and work toward a smaller ball. (Koosh balls are easier to catch than a tennis ball.)
- Practice hitting bowling pins with a ball. (You can purchase these games or make your own with soda bottles and a small ball.)
- Play "Hit the Balloon" with a medium-sized balloon.
The guidelines in the list above can be tackled one at a time. If your success rate in teaching the above is low you may contact Writewiz. It is our responsibility to ensure the remarkable improvement in handwriting.