Category: Pre-writing Skills

Pre-writing skills are those that contribute to the foundations for handwriting. This fine motor, pre-writing and handwriting blog addresses these skills in some detail. As we increase our awareness and understanding of these skills we are able to incorporate them into the play opportunities we provide for our children.

The first foundation that the blog covers is that of fine motor skills. Our children cannot begin writing or manipulating a writing utensil unless they have developed the fine motor skills to do so. There is little doubt that our techno kids are lagging in this area. Our activities need to specifically target and develop these pre-writing skills.

While the blog does offer an overview of these skills, we divide them up so we can explore each area in depth. Each muscle group and movement pattern is given attention on the blog posts so that parents, teachers and occupational therapists have the information for pre-writing skills development at their fingertips.

Once our children have mastered the fine motor skill foundations, we need to move to development of the basic lines and strokes that make up the shapes that make up our letters. This blog takes an innovative approach to the development of these pre-writing lines. While many of the activities on the internet require little children to draw over lines and shapes, we use a playful approach with songs and fun.

Children need to be engaged in a playful way that makes sense to them. When we present activities in this manner they will develop and improve the foundational skills we are looking for. In developing pre-writing skills we should not be reproducing a formalised mini-school situation. Little children should be allowed to be just that. But, at the same time we need to find innovative playful ways for them to develop the foundational pre-writing skills they are going to need for school.

Pencil grips for kids. When should we change a modified pencil grasp that has not progressed according to the typical stages of pencil grasp development?

Pencil Grip for Kids. Should I Change this Grasp?

There is enough out there on pencil grasp development to know when a pencil grip looks a bit – or more than a bit – dodgy.  But the question that comes up repeatedly is when to change pencil grip for kids and when to leave it well alone.  There is no one answer to this… Read more »


Motor Skills Development and the ABC of Handwriting

For those who are new to the field of handwriting, this can serve as a checklist for the areas that must be considered when preparing our children for this life skill.  While not exhaustive, many of the critical areas are covered here.  What follows is a summary of handwriting and motor skills development that you… Read more »


The Wall Model of occupational performance for analysing the sensory-motor and visual perceptual foundations for learning.

The Wall Model® of Occupational Performance

We know that motor planning, spatial perception, sensory modulation, figure-ground perception and bilateral integration, amongst many other modalities, underpin the learning process in the classroom.  But how do all these modalities fit together if at all?  Are they just a random collection of foundations, or do they actually fit together in some kind of meaningful… Read more »


why kids should work on a vertical surface, what is a vertical surface, benefits of working on a vertical surface, drawing on a vertical surface occupational therapy, vertical surface writing, vertical surface activities, vertical surface fine motor skills, vertical surface activities occupational therapy

Why Kids Should Work on a Vertical Surface

It is no secret that one of my favourite working positions is the vertical surface.  I have always said that if you wanted to take one thing out of my occupational therapy practice, you could have my tables.  I just needed the walls!  So let’s look at why kids should work on a vertical surface… Read more »


preschool handwriting preparation

Pre-writing Skills Activities. From Scribbles to Handwriting

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.  Handwriting is a critical scholastic milestone because it is the foundation for story writing and composition.  Some children make the transition from scribbles seamlessly,… Read more »


hand dominance in children

Ambidextrous and Hand Preference.

From time to time we hear of children who are ambidextrous.  This seems such an amazing thing!  Imagine being able to write with both hands!  Does it matter if a child hasn’t established a hand preference or hand dominance?  Is it really an important thing and when, if at all, should we intervene?  Although only… Read more »


wrist position for handwriting, teaching handwriting in South Africa, handwriting foundations occupational therapy, letter formation occupational therapy

Development of Handwriting Skills in Kids | 8 Steps

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.  What are the best approaches… Read more »