by Christine Morgan, COTA
Handwriting has a long history that started with cave drawings; over thousands of years it has developed into the more abstract symbols and letters, that we are familiar with today, which help us convey our thought processes, communicate, and store information.
Handwriting is a important skill we use everyday from writing shopping list to filling out applications. It can promote clear thought processes, boost memory, and increase the ability to focus on a task. Research has also shown a direct correlation between good handwriting and increased academic performance. Unfortunately, as technology advances there has been less of a focus on teaching handwriting in our schools.
Brain scans done on preschoolers has shown that handwriting helps them not only learn their letters, but also develop a reading circuitry in their brain. While technology will continue to advance, it is important to understand and appreciate the need to continue teaching handwriting.
- Have your child hide their favorite toy and draw a treasure map and directions to the treasure for you to follow.
- Make your child’s favorite meal and have them write what they need to buy from the grocery store
- “Tick-Tack-Toe” is a great game to develop pre-writing skills
- Write a letter using your finger on your child’s back and see if they can copy it onto a white board.
- Use shaving cream on the table or floor and write letters with your fingers.
- Write your child a secret message and have them decode it
- Use different shaped writing utensils (triangular pencils, grippers, broken crayons, chalk) to spice up any drawing or writing activity.