Does your child rush through handwriting? Is their handwriting messy and illegible? Does your child tire easily when writing? If so, follow these few simple steps to improve your child’s handwriting.
Fine Motor Activities
Create fun and simple fine motor games to build hand strength and increase finger coordination necessary for handwriting. Use clothespins and tweezer to pick up small items and transfer to containers. Hide items in playdoh to make little fingers work together to find the treasure!
Let your child try out different pencil grips. Pencil grips can help a child have the correct grasp on a pencil and help decrease the strain on the hands. Odd finger posturing on pencils for a sustained time can increase strain to muscles and cause little hands to hurt. Your OT can help your child decide which one is best for them.
Shoulder Girdle Exercises
Incorporate fun ways to strengthen these necessary handwriting muscles by having your child lay on his stomach and prop on elbows to color or play. This is a weight bearing position that will strengthen your shoulders. Also try taping paper to the bottom of a table and have them color it while laying down under the table. Or tape the paper to the wall and have a child color standing up causing your shoulders to work against gravity.
Your child is working the tiny muscles in their hands during handwriting. It is important to give these muscle a stretch break during writing assignments. A few hand stretching activities are opening and closing your hand 10 times, push your hands together gently to stretch the fingers, and roll your wrists in circles. It is also important to give your brain a break. After sitting for 20 minutes, allow your child to get up and move around to wake up their mind and be ready to finish the work.
If your child is struggling with handwriting, please contact our OTs at Jones Therapy Services who are trained in handwriting techniques and protocols. They would love to answer any of your concerns and questions.