There is little evidence that children will “catch” handwriting skills! | Teaching Handwriting

“There is little evidence that children will ‘catch’ handwriting skills!” (Steve Graham, 1999.)  I love this quote.  Handwriting is not like the flu.  You don’t catch it simply because you happen to spend time with those who are engaged in the activity.  You learn to become an efficient handwriter because handwriting is taught.  This begs… Read more »


The Journey from Scribbles to Handwriting | Pre-writing Skills Activities

Our children’s first works of art are random scribbles on a page.  Within a few short years these scribbles have been transformed into the beautifully crafted letters that make up handwriting. This is a critical scholastic milestone because handwriting is the foundation for story writing and composition.  Some children make the transition from scribbles seamlessly,… Read more »


Left Handed Handwriting | A Golden Nugget

Every teacher and every therapist has encountered a left handed child.  If you aren’t left handed yourself, you may wonder how to help and advise parents.  You want to ensure they end up with a well adjusted left hander, who masters handwriting with the same finesse as many of their right handed counterparts.  If you master… Read more »


The Stetro Song | Learn to Use the Stetro Pencil Grip

The Stetro Pencil Grip is your go-to beginner grip.  The cues will help your child to know exactly where to put their fingers and with a little practise with the song, will be well on their way!  Before you get stuck in with the song, please do be sure that you have the grip on the correct… Read more »


How Can We Help Ally with Her Handwriting?

Ally is in Grade 2 and her mother is most concerned about her handwriting.  What are some of the clues we can identify from the challenges evident in this handwriting sample, and which handwriting learning activities can help her?  Occupational Therapist, Bunty McDougall weighs in. The first thing is always to say that handwriting is a… Read more »


Ambidextrousness | Why One Hand is Better than Two

From time to time we hear of children who are ambidextrous.  This seems such an amazing thing – wow – imagine being able to write with both hands!  But is it really a good thing and when, if at all, should we intervene? Before I dive in and get into this fascinating topic, I need… Read more »


Get a Grip! But Which One? | The CLAW

The CLAW pencil grips with their unusual design is what makes them a fantastic pencil grip.  When I first heard of it and saw its name I thought I would never use it – it both looked and sounded strange!  After someone asked about them on our Facebook page, I went off to explore them and… Read more »


The Secret’s Out!  Letter Formation Rules!

Research has shown that good letter formation is a significant predictor of mastery of good handwriting.  Let’s look at The Happy Handwriter’s steps toward mastering letter formation. Follow this sequence to well-developed letter formation which contributes to good handwriting.  As we know, good handwriting contributes to good composition and story writing skills.  This reminds us how… Read more »


Handwriting | Why is it so Important? | 6 Reasons by an Occupational Therapist. (Infographic)

Handwriting – should we still teach it?  Is it outdated in the techno age?  Perhaps we shouldn’t teach it in schools and save precious time for maths, reading, composition and story writing?  Occupational therapist, Bunty McDougall, author of The Happy Handwriter, explores the latest research on handwriting. This is a good Infographic to have on… Read more »


Fine Motor and Handwriting Workshop: Cape Town, September 2015

The Happy Handwriter is excited to present our upcoming 2 day Fine Motor and Handwriting workshop.  It will be held in Observatory, Cape Town on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th September 2015. The course is open to occupational therapists, teachers, schools, physiotherapists, psychologists and anyone interested in fine motor and handwriting development in children.  Looking forward to… Read more »


Pencil Control | 8 Steps to Improve it by an Occupational Therapist. (Infographic)

We all know what untidy, illegible handwriting looks like.  The quality of fine motor skills and pencil control are on the decline in our techno age where pre-schoolers are pointing and swiping, rather than engaging in the manipulative skills required for developing the hand muscles essential for controlling a pencil.  Occupational Therapist, Bunty McDougall, from The Happy… Read more »


Workshops 2015

Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control we have been forced to put our advertised 2015 workshops on hold.  We will keep you posted and let you know as soon as we are able to proceed with these. In the interim, please stay in touch with us regarding your interest in the workshops so we can… Read more »


The Pencil Project

Yesterday, during a Muscle Mania fine motor group in a Grade 1 classroom at a disadvantaged school, pencils took on a whole new meaning to me.  In fact, it was the absence of pencils.  Many of the children didn’t have pencils and some had pencils so small, that when they were writing, they were hidden… Read more »


CAPS and Handwriting workshop

With the transition to CAPS, our teachers have been overwhelmed with integrating all the changes in the curriculum.  To stimulate thought, and to look at how we can teach handwriting smarter so as to achieve the goal of efficient and legible handwriting, I will be running a workshop for teachers on “CAPS and Handwriting.”  It… Read more »