Take It Easy!

Introduce handwriting to children through play. Pretend writing is fun, so give them crayons or markers and some paper and let them scribble.
Drawing and painting are good too.

Workout play: Build hand and finger strength for a relaxed and efficient hold on pencils. Mold clay, even make mud pies! Collect shiny beads; pick them up with the index finger and thumb. Pinch clips to hang up some favorite pictures. Poke a hole in the ground with the index finger and plant flower seeds.

Relax. Too often we try to teach letters before heads and hands are ready. We forget that handwriting is a complex skill. Children must recognize letters, learn how to form them, and then how to combine them into words, and finally send from their minds to hands to paper. Young children can become unnecessarily tense as they try to put all this together.

I like to start with pre-writing patterns. They are easy with natural flow, and relate well to lowercase letters. Lowercase are easier than capitals and we use them more.

Relax and natural are key words. If letters are simple and formed with lines that conform to the most natural movements of the hand and fingers, it becomes easy to both teach and learn to write.

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