Helping your child improve their handwriting skills will help them build confidence in their ability to learn other tasks. It will also help them build their fine motor skills and develop their hand muscles. To help them prepare for working with a pencil, encourage crafts that use other small items to strengthen their hand muscles like beans, rice, and beads.
As your child starts practicing their handwriting skills, identify where they’re having problems so that you know what needs improvement. Where are they having the most difficulty? Forming letters? Properly sizing letters? Maybe the problem is with lining the words up or having too much or too little space between them. If you don’t identify their biggest challenge, you won’t know how to help them improve.
Next, make sure they’re holding the pencil correctly; with thumb index, and middle finger, not a closed fist. This post may contain affiliate links. You can read our full disclosure policy here.
Now you’re ready to help them work towards better handwriting:
1. Use handwriting sheets
Handwriting sheets can really help build their confidence when it comes to handwriting. Ones that have tracing lines and words to trace are the best. Allow them to use markers or crayons for even more fun!
2. Use Lined Paper
Lined writing paper will help your child to learn proper letter sizing and keep their words straight. Teach them to proportion their letters as they go. For instance, a lowercase “a” should be about half the size of an uppercase “A.” Make sure they use the full height of the guide lines to fill their uppercase letters and make their lowercase letters proportionately smaller as they go.
3. Slow Down
Poor handwriting comes from trying to write too quickly when you’re unable to form letters properly at the speed you’re going. For many children, slowing down and being more deliberate about each movement of the pencil solves the problem. Rushing causes them to lose control and causes mistakes. Take the time with your child to help them slow down and think through the next movement of the pencil so that they are able to be more deliberate with their movements.
4. Reduce Pressure
Pressing too hard with the pencil makes it harder to make smooth lines and may even cause the paper to rip. Especially when writing cursive, lighter pressure allows your hand to move more fluidly. Work with your child to lighten their grip on the pencil and not press so hard on the paper. It takes practice to find the right pressure point so be patient.
To help your child continue to improve their writing skills, play games that involve hand movements. This will not only help to develop their hand muscles, but also teach them about pressure. Games like Jenga or Pick Up Sticks will help them with precision.
Improving your child’s handwriting just takes a little patience and a lot of practice.