Handwriting is a complex fine motor skill. It consists of the integration of certain fundamental skills that need to be developed and refined throughout early childhood. Although handwriting is a fine motor task, it starts with big movements. Children ‘drawing’ big circles in the air when they are 3 years old is the start of being able to write an “o” when they are 6 years old. Taking into account the fact that children develop from ‘big to small’, WriteRight® has developed a range of big finger tracing boards. These boards take handwriting ‘back to basics’ where children use their fingers to trace over large letters, numbers, shapes, patterns and doodles. Children who have practiced and are comfortable ‘writing’ on the big boards make the transition to formal handwriting more easily and successfully.
Handwriting requires strong, dexterous fingers to grip and manipulate pencils, in order to form letters, numbers, shapes and patterns. Pencil grip describes how children hold the pencil. The correct grip is important for quick, legible handwriting. The ideal grip is a TRIPOD or three-finger grip. When the pencil is held correctly, it can be easily manipulated which makes learning to write a lot more fun!
Only when children have control of the pencil, they can start learning to write i.e. form letters, numbers, shapes and patterns. The aim of writing is to get formation done automatically i.e. without having to think. This takes careful teaching and hours of practice.