Everything you wanted to know about Handwriting

  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Handwriting

    Components of handwriting:

    • Visual perceptual skills – these skills include spatial awareness, visual memory, sequencing and directionality to promote correct letter and word formation (top to bottom) and spacing.  Visual-motor integration is needed to correctly replicate images
    • Stable postural muscles – must maintain an upright sitting posture while writing
    • Shoulder stability – the shoulder should be strong enough to stabilize the writing arm however not move.
    • Wrist and finger mobility – the child should be able to isolate the wrist and fingers from the arm to increase speed and fluidity when writing.  The wrist should not be in a flexed position
    • Proprioceptive awareness – this is the body’s internal awareness of itself in space. Poor proprio. awareness can lead to applying too much or too little amount of pressure with the writing utensil which displays as very dark marks or very light marks
    • Functional pencil grasp – a tripod grasp is the most widely accept grasp pattern, however, I accept any grasp that does not cause pain and allows the child to isolate finger and wrist movements to write fluidly
    • Crossing midline – this is important to help children start at the left end of the paper and continue to the right end of the paper.

    Pre-writing strokes:

    Before writing children must be able to independently form the following strokes:

    Circle, diagonal, vertical and horizontal lines

    Activities to Promote:

    1. Core strength and shoulder stabilityAnimal walks
    • Wall-push ups
    • Push/pull wagon
    • Move furniture
    • Cleaning windows/ wall mirrors
    • Wheelbarrow walks
    • **Any activity on a vertical surface**
    1. Strengthen Hand
    • Playing with playdoh (squeezing, rolling, flattening, isolating each finger and pushing into the playdoh, etc)
    • Hole punchers
    • Squeeze squirt bottler
    • Clothes pins
    • Manipulative toys (ie: legos)
    1. Improve Grasp
    • Use tweezers/use chop sticks for dinner/tongs to pick up objects
    • Pinch playdoh with “alligator fingers”
    1. Finger Dexterity
    • Crunching tissue paper with tips of fingers
    • String beads
    • Finger puppets
    • Buttons/snaps
    • Toy piano/keyboard
    • Writing letters in shaving cream
    1. Visual-Motor Integration
    • Wooden pieces
    • Puzzles
    • Mazes
    • Copying shape designs
    • Finding hidden pictures