How to help improve your child's handwriting

Writing continues to be an incredibly important skill and in schools it is still the main way children show their teachers they have understood the work. Therefore, handwriting is especially important to master as they progress through school and then take exams because these are mostly all still in written form. A realistic goal for handwriting is that it must be legible to someone who is reading it, whether that be a parent, teacher or examiner. In general, schools aim for the following ideal from children:

  • Letters are sitting on the line
  • Letters are formed correctly
  • Tall letters are tall and small letters are small
  • You can tell the difference when writing capital letters
  • There is a good space between words
  • Joined up handwriting (hopefully by Junior school age)
  • Writing can be read

However, it is not always easy for children to achieve these goals and sometimes anxiety about handwriting can then lead to not enjoying writing at all. It’s important to remember that fine motor skills, which help with handwriting, develop at different times in children. So as a child matures, often handwriting develops and matures as well. But what can we do as parents to help develop fine motor skills and then help children improve their handwriting. We’ve come up with four tips that you can use to start supporting your little one’s handwriting.


Tip one:

Give your child any opportunity possible to develop their fine motor skills. This could be simply letting them dress themselves, tie shoelaces and do up buttons. There are also great toys such as Lego plus weaving, painting and playdough sets.


Tip two:

Use a pencil or a pen which erases if possible. This way you can erase any mistakes without adding to the anxiety of work being messy.


Tip three:

Use lined paper or specialist handwriting paper so little ones can keep their letters on the correct lines and make sure tall letters are tall and small letters are small, using the lines as guides.


Tip four:

Praise! Lots of praise goes a long way to making children enjoy their writing and making them feel like they are showing improvement.

 If you have a slightly older child then these tips (although they might seem babyish) still apply. Often older children need to go back to basics in order to refresh their minds on how letters join up and are formed.

I hope you've found this post useful and below I’ve linked some great sites that have ideas on how to improve fine motor skills:

Links to products that can improve pencil grip and handwriting:

Nana's Manners Cutlery

Pencil grip aids

Handwriting Practice Notepads

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