Category: General News

Activities to Improve Handwriting. Dinosaur Themed!

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When we are helping children with handwriting foundations, sometimes all we want are some easily accessible grab-and-go activities we can implement at a moments notice.  While we do love to know the theory behind everything, we also need fun activities to improve handwriting that are going to enable us to apply that theory and see measurable… Read more »

Teaching Left Handers to Cut. Left Handed Scissor Skills

Teaching left-handed kids o cut

Cutting and scissor skills are one of the critical prewriting skills on account of the muscles they develop.  The muscles we use for opening and closing the scissors are the ones that are responsible for manipulating the pencil.  With this in mind, teaching left handers to cut is really important.  We want them to benefit from… Read more »

Occupational Therapy Handwriting Homework.  Yes or No?

Ocupational therapy handwriting and fine motor exercises

I have a folder on my computer for OT home programmes.  It is overflowing with written programmes and guides for the countless numbers of children I have seen over the years.  Going through it is a little like a trip down memory lane.  I wonder how those children are doing now, and if their handwriting… Read more »

My Child Hates Handwriting: 5 Reasons Why They May Hate it.

Kids who hate writing

Some children just hate handwriting.  End of story.  They resist it, they hurry to get it done and it becomes a huge emotional hurdle.  Our challenge is to understand why children are hating it, and find ways to overcome it.  Handwriting is a critical foundation skill for story writing and composition, which are one of… Read more »

The Benefits of Cursive Handwriting: It Saves the Day!

pros and cons of cursive handwriting

Cursive handwriting seems to bring out diametrically opposed opinions.  People either love it, or hate it.  The cursive lovers speak only of the pros of cursive, while the haters speak only of the disadvantages.  I come from the place of looking at what cursive handwriting can offer us.  I am clear about the benefits of… Read more »

Automaticity in Handwriting. WHAT to write not HOW to write.

Teaching writing in the foundation phase

Automaticity in handwriting is the ability to automatically recall letter formation patterns so your child can think about WHAT to write, not HOW to write.  Handwriting automaticity is not something we hear about as often as pencil grip or fine motor skills; but it is a critical aspect of handwriting acquisition which cannot, and must… Read more »

Teaching Correct Number Formation: Implications for Maths.

Number formation for kids

When it comes to handwriting, we always talk about children needing to have automatic handwriting so they can think about WHAT to write, not HOW to write.  And that holds true so much more for maths.  Automaticity in number formation is essential for achievement in maths, making teaching correct number formation a critical foundation skill… Read more »

Writing on the Lines: Should our Kids Write on Lines?

how to teach a child to write on the line

Like so many aspects of handwriting, the writing lines vs no writing lines debate is as passionate and diverse as there are people discussing it.  Should our focus be writing on the lines, or should our children work on blank paper and within wide writing lines? The South African CAPS Handwriting Curriculum advocates that children… Read more »

How to Teach my Child to Write their Name the Easy Way

how do i teach my child to write their name

There is no hard and fast rule as to when a child should write their name.  But usually by Grade 00 your child’s peers are starting to write their names on their art work, and that can either light the spark, or can even put them under pressure to feel like they should be able… Read more »

Dysgraphia or Disorder in Written Expression: Typing Accommodations

Teaching children to type

While we promote handwriting and its benefits from improved story writing and composition, to aiding with memory and recall; there are times when handwriting has gone really wrong.  Some children have Dysgraphia or Disorder in Written Expression, and no amount of handwriting intervention has been able to assist them with achieving fluid and legible handwriting…. Read more »

Technology and Fine Motor Skills: Can we use Apps?

Apps to improve motor skills for kids

When it comes to the development of fine motor skills, the world of tablets, phones and Apps have certainly jumped on the band wagon.  One trip to Google Play or the App Store will lead you to believe that all fine motor skills development can take place on a tablet.  They tell us how using… Read more »

Does Pencil Grip Matter for Legible Handwriting in Children?

Pencil grips development chart

Once your child is in preschool, the words “pencil grip” suddenly seem to be important.  Does pencil grip matter?  Is it important how children hold their pencils, and can this really impact their future schooling? The dynamic tripod pencil grip is the gold standard for pencil grips.  With this grip, your child will hold their… Read more »

Handwriting Help for Older Children. When is it too Late?

tips to help older kids with handwriting

So long as there aren’t any fundamental underlying neurological or other medical issues at play, the answer is it’s never too late.  Handwriting help for older children can really assist them.  But there is one condition that needs to be present for improvement to take place. Your child has got to want it really badly. … Read more »

Does Occupational Therapy Help with Handwriting?

does occupational therapy help with handwriting

By the time our children enter Grade 1, they have usually learned to write their names, and may be able to write letters and numbers.  The more advanced amongst them will even be able to write words and sentences.  But for the most part, handwriting is the domain of the Grade 1 classroom.  Our teachers… Read more »

Tips for Improving your Handwriting: Stabilise the Page!

occupational therapy for writing skills

When looking for tips for improving your handwriting and the mechanics of good handwriting, there is one thing that WILL improve handwriting.  Every time!  And that is stabilising the page for handwriting. Tips for improving your handwriting: the working hand must be allowed to do its job When the page is not stabilised with the… Read more »

Pencil Control for Handwriting. How to Improve it with Fun Activities.

pencil control for handwriting for kids

I always say they should have called it finger writing not handwriting.  Because it is the finger and thumb movements that facilitate pencil control for handwriting.  It is the discrete refined finger movements, isolated from the hand movements, that are necessary for speed and quality of handwriting.  Of course, finger movements don’t stand alone.  They… Read more »

What is Midline Crossing: 5 Ways it Affects Handwriting

Importance of crossing the midline

Everyone talks about midline crossing like we should inherently know what it is.  They use the term in a throw away manner like they are talking about skipping or bike riding – something that everyone should just automatically know about.  So what is midline crossing?  Midline crossing is the ability to cross the imaginary midline… Read more »