Handwriting is hard work but good for your health
A lot of children struggle to hold a pen in primary school, with their hand becoming tired and uncomfortable. Remember joining letters together for the first time? It is difficult and a child who’s grip involves the thumb being wrapped around of the forefinger rather than the tripod grip often lose patience.
Turning the fun skills into handwriting
We’ve all heard about learning through play and the National Curriculum begins with the basics of engaging the young imagination through activities that are believed to encourage handwriting in the early Primary years. Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Toddlers have more imagination than textbook knowledge and learning to engage with this primary energy starts at home.
Early Year’s curriculum starts at home
The development of talking and listening skills are the building blocks of reading and writing. A child’s apprenticeship with learning handwriting starts at home and continues through pre-school and magically becomes legible by Year 2. Opportunities to nurture pre-writing skills are all around us. Next time you’re sitting in traffic and the windows steam up, draw a letter and encourage those little fingers to trace the shape. Not only are you filling some boring time, tracing helps to develop hand to eye coordination
Sand play, wet or dry
Sand is a writing apprentices dream. Tracing is the first step and copying is the second stage in allowing the mind to shape the final letter. This is an activity for the beach, on the gravel driveway or turning rain drops on a window into a letter. Encouraging the index finger to follow and shapes and patterns builds neural pathways that can be built upon for better handwriting.
Getting to grip with the right pen
The crayon or pencil grasp is a good place to start. Learning the tripod grip can be frustrating for little fingers. It’s better to engage a young learner first before correcting their grip. Copying basic circles, arches and zigzagging lines will develop rhythm and patience with the pen. The tripod grip gives greater accuracy and confidence to create new shapes. What you choose to write with and how you start could play a major part in learning to write.
Colouring books for the kids and parents
Art therapy is big business. Colouring books for adults are believed to help them de-stress. For kids, the act of colouring can help children develop the muscles in the hands, fingers and wrist. It is also develops the fine motor skills required for handwriting and like adults with a colouring book, it keeps them very quiet too.
Handwriting aids memory
Research into university students’ memory retention post lecture, found that those who wrote their notes long hand rather than typing them, could recall more information and facts. Writing was shown to engage distinct parts of the brain which triggered more memory developing neurons. Handwriting is clearly good for your health.