Before any handwriting instruction begins your child will need to have developed certain skills. Most of these skills will have developed naturally during early childhood years.
The following activities can be used to help the development of manipulation skills which are necessary before any formal handwriting instruction begins. Motor control, hand/eye co-ordinator, muscular control, and visual memory, are all skills that need to be developed.
Concepts such as left, right, top, bottom, up, down, over, under, above, in, out, size, shape, beside, below, high, low, between, before, after, next, start, finish, big and little will also need to be developed.
Some activities that will aid the development of these skills and concepts are:
painting with a brush
drawing - pencil, felt pen, crayon
measuring and pouring water
screwing and unscrewing jar tops
modelling in sand, clay, play-dough
tearing and folding paper
pattern - making
sorting - objects, shapes
matching - objects, shapes, pictures, words, letters
finding differences - objects, shapes, pictures, words, letters
sewing. lacing, buttoning, buckling, tying laces
A child needs to have plenty of opportunities to develop the following before handwriting instruction can begin:
Visual discrimination -recognising small differences
matching games, e.g. 'snap', dominoes
recognising the 'odd one out' in a sequence
finding hidden objects in pictures, environmental materials
Visual memory -remembering a shape
memory games - objects are shown then covered - an attempt is made to recall the items