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Handwriting Teaching Strategies. 7 Critical Principles

The teaching of handwriting is a vast topic.  After over 30 years of exploring the subject I am still learning more every day.  But not everyone wants to spend 30 years immersing themselves in the different aspects of handwriting!  If you want to find the most important handwriting teaching strategies in one place so you… 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 »

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Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Activities

There is little doubt our techno kids need opportunities for hand strengthening and fine motor development.  Using special days and holidays can go a long way to engage our children in the very activities they need, without them realising we have a hidden agenda!  With this in mind, I wanted to share some fun Valentine’s… Read more »

reversing letters and numbers when writing, b-d reversals, letter reversal interventions, is it normal for my child to write letters backwards

Reversing Letters and Numbers when Writing.  When is it Normal?

There is a horrible cold feeling that comes over a parent when they see their child is writing their letters or numbers backwards.  The reason for this is simple: it has always been “out there” that letter reversals mean dyslexia, which is a “scary sounding thing that affects children’s learning.”  It can be comforting to… Read more »

hands on activities for kids, hands on learning activities, paper folding ideas, interactive class activities

Hands on Activities for Kids. Paper Folding Unicorns

Paper folding develops some of the critical underlying skills for handwriting.  Handwriting development requires well-established visual-perceptual and motor foundations.  The more you expose your child to hands on activities for kids which develop these foundations, the better prepared they are going to be to embrace and successfully master the handwriting process.  These hands on learning… Read more »

fine motor skills development, fine motor skills activities

Fine Motor Skills Activities for your Family at Christmas!

Christmas comes around every year and it is a time when families can draw together and focus on the  meaning of the season.  Along with that comes all the excitement of the celebration.  I have put together some fine motor skills activities you can do with your children.  Spending time with them is the greatest… Read more »

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Activities to Improve Handwriting. Dinosaur Themed!

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-handed kids o cut

Teaching Left Handers to Cut. Left Handed Scissor Skills

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 »

Ocupational therapy handwriting and fine motor exercises

Occupational Therapy Handwriting Homework.  Yes or No?

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 »

Kids who hate writing

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

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 »

pros and cons of cursive handwriting

The Benefits of Cursive Handwriting: It Saves the Day!

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 »

Teaching writing in the foundation phase

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

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 »

Number formation for kids

Teaching Correct Number Formation: Implications for Maths.

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 »

how to teach a child to write on the line

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

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 »

Teaching children to type

Dysgraphia or Disorder in Written Expression: Typing Accommodations

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 »