Handwriting skills are an important developmental task and activity for kids. Through handwriting, they are able to express themselves and communicate with the world around them.
Improving their penmanship, legibility, pencil grasp, and working on problem areas are all important things that need to be addressed, whether you are a homeschool parent, teacher, therapist, or just supplementing your child's classroom activities.
I wanted to share some ways how to improve handwriting skills with kids and have rounded up all the posts I have written on this topic here on GHOK.
Post Updated Feb. 2023
Table of contents
- How to Improve Handwriting Skills with Kids
- Handwriting Development in Children
- Pencil Grasp Development
- Pincer Grasp Development
- Pre-Writing Skills for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Teaching Handwriting Skills at Home
- Handwriting Tips for Lefties
- Teaching Cursive Handwriting
- Handwriting Difficulty Tips & Tricks
- Printable Worksheet Ideas for Handwriting
- More Handwriting Resources
- Free Handwriting & Pre-Writing Email Series
How to Improve Handwriting Skills with Kids
The first step in learning about handwriting skills is to understand the importance of fine motor development and how pencil grasp develops. Here are some posts I have written on that topic:
- Typical Fine Motor Developmental Milestones for Ages 0-6 – Also comes with a free printable of each age level.
- You can also find more information on fine motor skill development.
- Which Fine Motor Skills Are Important for Handwriting?
Handwriting Development in Children
Take a closer look at what handwriting development actually looks like in children. Plus get a free handout to reference the different skills and ages.
- The Development of Handwriting Skills in Children
- When Should I Teach My Child to Write?
- 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Introducing Handwriting to Kids
Pencil Grasp Development
There are two types of pencil grasp that are considered functional for handwriting; the tripod and the quadruped grasp. You can learn more about those two types of grasp below.
- Proper Pencil Grasp for Writing – Comes with a step-by-step developmental sequence and explanation as well as pictures of each type of grasp.
- 5 Tips for Pencil Grasp Development with Preschoolers – This is a guest post I wrote over on Learning 2 Walk about pencil grasp as well.
- Pencil Grasp Development Handout – Free Download
- The Foundational Skills Needed for Handwriting Mechanics – a look at underlying skills needed for pencil grasp.
- In-Hand Manipulation Skills Needed for Handwriting
- In-Hand Manipulation Activity Ideas for Children
Pincer Grasp Development
- What is Pincer Grasp? – Pincer grasp is an important part of handwriting skills and pencil grasp.
- 5 Fine Motor Activities to Improve Pencil Grasp – Guest post on Learning 2 Walk
- 2 Pincer Grasp Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers
- 5 Activities for Pincer Grasp Development
- 15 Hands-On Activities to Promote Pincer Grasp
Pre-Writing Skills for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Pre-writing skills are the precursor to handwriting. They consist of an age-appropriate sequence of straight lines (horizontal/vertical/diagonal), circle shapes, and more that toddlers and preschoolers learn in order to, later on, form letters and numbers.
- 6 Pre-writing Activities for Preschoolers – This was a 6-week series I did on my blog with activities to encourage pre-writing lines and shapes.
- 12 Fun Ways to Practice Handwriting with Preschoolers – Hands-on ideas for practice handwriting and pre-writing skills
- 10 Hands-On Ways to Practice Pre-Writing Lines
- On The Farm Prewriting Packet
- 26 Themed-Writing Tray Ideas
Basic Shapes for Beginners – A Hands-on Approach to Pre-writing Strokes for Kids is an ebook I wrote to get you started with pre-writing skills at home for ages 2-6.
Teaching Handwriting Skills at Home
If your child is in Occupational Therapy it is important to practice the skills they are working on at home. This post discusses some ways to do that.
For homeschoolers, I have a special series on my site on how to teach handwriting to your preschooler through elementary-age students.
- Teaching Handwriting in Your Homeschool – Preschool
- Teaching Handwriting in Your Homeschool – Kindergarten
- Teaching Handwriting in Your Homeschool – Elementary
- How to Include Handwriting in your Tot-School & Preschool
Handwriting Tips for Lefties
Only about 10% of the world is left-handed. Being a leftie for handwriting can be a little different, especially if you are right-handed, working with a leftie. Here are some tips.
Teaching Cursive Handwriting
Cursive can be a great alternative for children who are struggling with print. Plus it's important to at least teach your child how to sign their name in cursive. Here are some cursive resources for you.
- Should I Teach Cursive or Print Handwriting First?
- Cursive Pre-Writing Lines & Strokes – Free Printable
- Is Cursive Handwriting Still Important to Learn?
Handwriting Difficulty Tips & Tricks
You've most likely come to this page because your child is struggling with handwriting in some way. Here are some tips for some common handwriting problems.
- 5 Tips to Correct Your Child's Pencil Grasp
- How to Fix Poor Spacing in Handwriting
- How to Fix Poor Letter Formations in Handwriting
- How to Stop Letter Reversals in Handwriting
- How to Fix Line Orientation Challenges in Handwriting
- Number Reversal Intervention: Vertical Air Tracing Activity
Printable Worksheet Ideas for Handwriting
I have lots of pre-writing and handwriting worksheets here on GHOK. And with all these worksheets, I give you hands-on activity suggestions for each.
More Handwriting Resources
- 5 Benefits of a Slant Writing Board
- Handwriting Warm-Up Activities
- DIY Handwriting Toolkit
- The Handwriting Book
Free Handwriting & Pre-Writing Email Series
For more tips and ideas, you can sign up to receive my 5 days of handwriting and pre-writing skills e-mail series. It's completely free and you'll receive all 5 days' worth of e-mails in your inbox.
Just enter your e-mail address below and click the green “click here” button. You'll need to head over to your inbox and confirm you want to receive the e-mail series. Then look for a welcome e-mail in your inbox (double check your spam folder or promotions tab for Gmail users if you don't see anything in your inbox).
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