5 fun tips to improve your kid's handwriting outside of the classroom
Fresh air, the great outdoors and some fun tips take helping your little one work on his penmanship skills to new levels! Read on, mums…
There’s no doubt about it – the lives we led as children are quite different to what our own children experience today. Handwriting and outdoor play are just two examples.
When you were young and in school, handwriting most likely was an area that was focused on to a great extent. These days though, our kids live in a world where communication is done more via email and text messages than handwritten letters or notes.
Technology, with all its benefits, is also increasingly confining our children indoors. Our children are more likely to learn about the life cycle of a butterfly online rather than seeing it for real.
Penmanship skills are falling prey to typing skills and kids are doing their learning indoors more than outdoors. But handwriting is still an essential educational tool and where do we even start on the benefits of outdoor learning?
Would you like to help your little one brush up on his handwriting skills in a fun way that also promotes bonding between the two of you outside the confines of four walls? We give you some great ideas to improve your kids’ handwriting.
1. String some beads for fine motor skills development
Fine motor skills refer to the coordination of muscles, bones and nerves to produce small, precise movements – such as handwriting.
There are plenty activities you could do with your child to help him fine-tune those fine motor skills, such as origami, stringing beads, drawing and colouring. Playing with play-dough is also a great and fun way of working on fine motor skills due to all the kneading, pushing and pulling involved.
2. Make time for outdoor play
Yes, fine motor practice helps develop your child’s handwriting skills, but gross motor play is just as important. Experts believe that one of the reasons for the increase in handwriting issues among kids these days is connected to reduced physical activity.
This is because handwriting doesn’t just involve being able to manipulate a pen with the fingers. It also requires body posture and proper use of hands, arms, head and eyes.
So, if your child needs a boost in the handwriting department, try reducing his time in front of the TV and computer. Instead, join him in some outdoor activities.
Some of the fun things that will connect the motor-neural pathways needed for handwriting are crawling, climbing and playing games such as “human wheelbarrow”.
3. Play to enhance hand-eye coordination
Hand-eye coordination is essential to handwriting as it refers to the ability of the vision system to coordinate information receieved through the eyes to control and guide the hands to perform a given task.
Mums, you can help your little ones achieve this in a really fun way by engaging them in simple games of throwing and catching a ball outdoors. For older kids, badminton and tennis are great games for hand-eye coordination. Your child is bound to have an awesome time with you too!
How can eating with chopsticks help develop your little one’s handwriting skills? Find out on the next page!
4. Help your little one with “visual perception”
Visual perception refers to your little one’s ability to use visual information to create meaning out of what he sees. In other words, when learning his letters, your child needs to be able to not just recognise letters, but also remember what a letter looks like and also tell the difference between two similar letters, such as “b” and “d”.
Here are two great ideas to help your child develop his visual perception:
- Play a recognition game with him using magnetic letters. Start with a limited number of letters, ask your little one to recognise a certain letter and then place it in the order of the alphabet. For younger ones, sing the alphabet song to help him along.
- Write the letters of the alphabet in a line and place this in front of your child. Then draw part of a letter such as a straight line. After this, ask your child to find and write as many letters as he can that include a line.
5. Have fancy dinners
Did you ever think that there was a connection between fine silverware and fine penmanship? Well there is and here’s what you need to do.
Just set out your table during mealtime with fancy cutlery or even colourful kids tableware. Show and encourage your little one to use this cutlery properly.
Through manoeuvring a fork and spoon properly, your child is learning important motor skills that will help his pincer grasp and help him practice the coordination he needs to master in order to write properly. Chopsticks are great for this purpose too.
In order to enjoy all these fun activities and for you and your child to experience more together, he needs to be strong inside. Find out how you can ensure this on the next page.
Help your child be strong inside to experience more together
Now you know that a skill like handwriting doesn’t have to be taught to your child within the confines of four walls. You can certainly help your little one master the art of penmanship using our fun and creative tips.
The best part about it is that your child will actually enjoy these experiences, helping him enjoy childhood while learning essential education skills in a healthy environment in the process.
However, in order for him to take full advantage of these experiences, he needs to be strong inside. The good folks at Friso believe that if kids are strong on the inside, it will help them enjoy the fun of exploring the world outside.
Friso is formulated to support your child’s developing needs so you can give the best to your child and enjoy motherhood.
Made by nature, made better by science
The starting point to producing nutrient rich powder milk such as Friso is high quality milk. Mums, you’ll be pleased to know that Friso’s milk comes from over 19,000 of their very own farms in The Netherlands and is backed by over 140 years of dairy expertise.
This fresh, nutrient-rich milk is then treated with gentle care in a special process created by Friso’s scientists, that locks in all the goodness into milk formula. Their secret to high quality lies in the fact that Friso has full chain control of the entire process — from start to finish.
Mums, remember: kids are always excited to experience new things each day. With your support as a friend and a parent, and the right nutrition, they can grow strong and healthy to allow them to experience more together with you every day.
Does your child drink Friso? And do you have any tips of your own to share with us on how to improve a kid’s handwriting skills? Do tell us what they are by leaving a comment below.