fun letter formation activities, multi-sensory approach to writing

Why a Multi-Sensory Approach to Writing and Handwriting Curriculum?

Multi-sensory is defined by the Collins English Dictionary as “involving or using more than one of the senses.”  So, what is the big deal about this when it comes to a multi-sensory approach to writing? A multisensory handwriting programme is a must! Over time we have learned that using sensory input, such as touch or… Read more »

Letter Formation Order: Does it Matter?

There are as many ways to teach letter formation as there are teachers.  Each teacher draws on her experience and applies it into her classroom to give the children in her class the best chance of achieving success.  However, we are also able to draw on the developmental progression of acquisition of the foundational lines,… Read more »

pre-writing skills, occupational therapy, wikki stix

Walk Before you Can Run: Pre-Writing Lines and Shapes

They say you can’t run before you can walk and I am certain that we all agree that this is true.  Just as true, is that children cannot learn to form letters and numbers before they have mastered the drawing of shapes.  And they cannot draw shapes before they are able to draw the component… Read more »

foundations for handwriting, classroom strategies for handwriting, handwriting development, handwriting intervention strategies, occupational therapy handwriting tools

Handwriting Development: The Perceptual-Motor Foundations

If your child is struggling with poor handwriting and is referred for an occupational therapy handwriting assessment, the outcome of the assessment can show very diverse difficulties.  This is because the perceptual-motor foundations of handwriting are numerous and complex.  Let’s look at The Wall®, an occupational therapy framework for explaining learning difficulties in children, and… Read more »

fine motor skills activities, fine motor skills checklist, fine motor skills development, what are fine motor skills

What are Fine Motor Skills? Fine Motor Skills Checklist

What are fine motor skills?  They are the small co-ordinated movements of the hands and fingers that make us as human beings special.  In some instances they are also called hand skills.  The co-ordinated small muscle movements enable the hands to perform refined manipulative tasks that foster independence, and enable us to become independent, functional… Read more »

Teaching Handwriting. Kids don’t “Catch” Handwriting Skills!

“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 »

rhymes to teach letter formation, teaching letter formation, the importance of letter formation, working memory, working memory and handwriting, why children struggle with handwriting, handwriting difficulties, multi-sensory handwriting

The Importance of Letter Formation. How Working Memory Gets Gobbled Up.

Working memory is a temporary storage area in the brain which manipulates information.  Working memory, unlike long-term memory which we seem to have an endless supply of, is a finite resource.  Working memory is different to short term memory.  Our friends of over at Wikipedia describe short term memory as ” the capacity for holding,… Read more »

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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 »

fine motor skills activities, fine motor skills for preschoolers, finger exercises for handwriting, how can you develop fine motor skills, activities to strengthen fine motor skills, finger strengthening

Finger Exercises for Handwriting

We usually think of handwriting as a solitary task – an interplay between the child’s thoughts, their hand, and the paper.  But there are three very special friends who play an integral part in the handwriting process.  They need to be acknowledged, they need to be nurtured, and they need to be used.  These are… Read more »

disadvantages of bad handwriting, does handwriting affect grades, does handwriting matter in exams, exercises to improve handwriting for kids, fine motor skills activities, motor skills development, how to improve bad handwriting, illegible handwriting in exams, is untidy handwriting a disability

Is Untidy Handwriting a Disability? Does it Affect Marks?

One of our great handwriting researchers, Steve Graham, identified the shocking implications of untidy handwriting on the grades allocated to students from one of his research studies.  I always knew that untidy handwriting affected marks but I didn’t know it was this bad.  I didn’t realise the toll that untidy handwriting took on our children,… Read more »

Fine Motor Festive Wreath: Free Cutting Exercises for Preschoolers

We are all always on the lookout for an amazing cutting exercises for preschoolers and Grade school, but to find one that develops and challenges their fine motor skills while achieving an amazing end product is a real bonus! Research has shown that our Grade R children spend more than half of their day involved… Read more »

left handed handwriting, left handed page position

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… Read more »

pencil grips and pencil grippers

Pencil Grips and Pencil Grippers. An Ultimate Guide.

Pencil grips or pencil grippers are popular when it comes to assisting children in achieving the optimal pencil grip for pencil control, speed, and legibility of handwriting.  They are placed on the pencil with the goal of correctly positioning the fingers on the pencil, to develop the optimal pencil control for handwriting. Way back when… Read more »

hand dominance in children, hand preference in children, anbidextrous,

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 »

letter formation, fun letter formation activities, handwriting, occupational therapy learning activities, what is letter formation

The Secret’s Out!  Letter Formation Rules!

Letter formation usually includes the ability to correctly form both letters and numbers.  Research has shown that good letter formation is a significant predictor of the mastery of good handwriting.  Looking at what is letter formation with this easy infographic from The Happy Handwriter will take you through the steps toward mastering letter and number formation…. Read more »