How to Help Your Child's Handwriting this Summer!

May 16, 2016

Does your child have handwriting problems that include:

  • An unusual pencil grasp?
  • Sloppy or large handwriting?
  • Little interest in coloring or drawing?
  • Struggles to keep up with his/her peers in school?
  • Difficulty naming and recognizing upper and lowercase letters?


Whether your child is just beginning to show interest in writing or on their way to first grade, parents want their children to write well! It’s great to have them make a card for their GiGi or just enjoy coloring, but kids today are showing more and more issues with handwriting. Why is this? Is it that computers are being introduced earlier and earlier? Is it that teachers don’t teach handwriting? While we can’t identify the sole reason for the decline in handwriting, we can agree that handwriting is an important skill! In a blog by Louise Spear-Swerling, she cites several key reasons investing in your child’s handwriting is valuable.

She shares, labored handwriting creates a drain on mental resources needed for higher-level aspects of writing, such as attention to content, elaboration of details, and organization of ideas. Because handwriting is a basic tool used in many subjects — taking notes, taking tests, and doing classroom work and homework for almost every content area as well as in language arts classes — poor handwriting can have a pervasive effect on school performance. Moreover, when handwriting is perceived as arduous and time-consuming, motivation to write may be greatly reduced, leading to a lack of practice that may further compound difficulties with writing. Finally, handwriting in the earliest grades is linked to basic reading and spelling achievement; for example, when children learn how to form the letter m, they can also be learning its sound. Attention to the linkages among handwriting, reading, and spelling skills can help to reinforce early achievement across these areas.”

So what can we do to aid our children in their handwriting abilities?

Start young, giving them opportunities to do small muscle building play! Play with play doh, color, enjoy working with toys that require two hands like puzzles, lacing cards, scissor work and arts and crafts! From pulling the top off of markers, to opening the glue, children need opportunities to strengthen their muscles before putting a crayon or pencil in their hand! Here’s a great article for using playdoh and scissors!

Pouring, Scooping, Spooning and Squeezing work to build visual motor skills for handwriting!  Summertime is a great time for backyard pool play and sand box play. Rummage through your kitchen drawers, or head to your local thrift store and gather various spoons, ladles, scoops, ice cube trays and squirt bottles and create a haven of fun for the kids.  (All the while they are building hand-eye coordination and visual-motor skills for copying words from a book or the Smart board!) Add a small black bean box and some funnels and you have just upped the activity to include science experiments too! Check out this wonderful post from the Busy Toddler!

Collect household containers, clips and spare nuts and bolts for a functional puzzle match up game!   Save coffee cans, peanut butter jars, cool whip bowls, paper clips (start with large and move smaller as the child ages), clothes pins and spare nuts and bolts. Throw them all mixed up into a larger container and encourage your child to sort and match the tops and containers, as well as the use the clips for clipping on color coordinated cards which you can make easily.  Click this link for specific details!

Sprout Pediatrics is offering a summer handwriting clinic in conjunction with the YMCA on Kennerly Rd.

Space is limited! This clinic will be on Monday’s and Friday’s: June 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, July 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29th from 9-10:30.

We are targeting older 4 year olds, 5 year olds and 6 year olds. Space is limited, as the clinic will only have 6 children and two adults trained in the Handwriting without Tears Program.

Cost is $180.00  We will be addressing all the bullet points listed at the beginning of this blog.

Please feel free to email for more information.


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Sprout Pediatrics exists to cultivate hope in children and their families for a full life experience by surrounding them with innovative therapy, education and connection within their community.
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