Developing Handwriting Skills Among Pre-Schoolers

Rema Rajiv
Apr 4, 2021
GMP

In this digital age, when written communication is increasingly done through laptops and mobile phones, penmanship is on a decline. Nowadays children get exposed to keyboards, touchpads and swipe buttons even before they are introduced to paper and pencil.

But because the new technologies have given us the options of keyboard, stylus and touchpads, should we ignore the importance of teaching effective handwriting skills to our pre-schoolers?

As an early years expert, my answer would be no!

We make the mistake of associating good handwriting to better scores in exams, but in reality, there are many more benefits that pre-schooler gains while practising better handwriting - good vision, eye-hand coordination, muscle memory, pencil grasp and letter formation. All of these together contribute to the overall better academic performance of students, not only in reading and writing but also in mathematics.

The areas that we need to focus on while helping the pre-schoolers improve their handwriting are - pencil grasp, letter formation, sizing of letters, copying words, spacing of words, sense of direction, proper pencil pressure, consistency in upper and lower case writing, etc.

At GIIS preschool, we use multiple approaches to build good handwriting techniques among students. However, if parents want to see quick and desired improvements in the penmanship of their children, then a certain degree of re-enforcement at home can work wonders.


Tips to improve the handwriting of pre-schoolers

Work on hand-eye coordination - visual-motor skills which are vital for good handwriting, grows out of eye-hand coordination. The eyes and hand should work in close coordination to ensure that the letters are correctly formed and stay within the line. Preschool and parents of toddlers can rely on a number of activities to help kids gain better visual-motor skills. Some of these are playing outdoor games like catch and throw with the ball, badminton, basketball, doing art and craft activities with beads, stacking tower games with lego blocks and solving maze puzzles.


Encouraging environment – You should not rush into expecting that since your child has started preschool, he or she should have developed handwriting skills by now. For most children, good handwriting skills only start emerging at 5 years of age. Before that, parents should work on improving the pencil grasp and steadiness while making letter formations. Most of the pre-schoolers will start with a five-fingered grasp and gradually proceed towards a mature grasp. As parents and teachers, we should help them cope up at each stage and encourage their efforts.


Proper posture and right stationery – we should not take an easy path when helping pre-schoolers improve their handwriting. Rather than making them practice handwriting by casually sitting on the bed or floor, they must sit on a proper table and chair while doing this exercise. Posture and angle play an important role in improving penmanship.

Under our Excelerate Pillar of the Global Montessori Plus programme, which has a dedicated approach towards honing the LSRW skills of preschoolers, we offer daily experiences to support the development of fine motor skills in the hands and fingers of our nursery and kindergarten students. We start with developing the strength and dexterity in their hands and fingers and then progress towards before they can be expected to master handwriting.

Building handwriting skills starts with a fun-writing exercise using sand, rice grains or simple scribbling at the nursery level. As students graduate to Kindergarten, the focus shifts more towards more formal writing done into four-lined notebooks and helping them gain perfection in the left to right pattern of writing and proper letter formation. Then comes the turn of practising 2-3 lettered words in legible handwriting.

By the end of K2, our students can progressively do creative writing, copy text from the board and take dictation in their notebooks.

The approach and resources provided by the preschool are hugely instrumental in building the handwriting skills of children and getting them ahead in their future learning journey. So when you are selecting a preschool for your child, you must explore the curriculum and check what all activities are done to improve the writing and language skills of children. After all, preschool education is the building block for primary school education and acquiring good handwriting skills is a crucial part of it.
To know more about our kindergarten programme called the Global Montessori Plus programme, do visit our campus and see our students, teachers and facilities for yourself. Click here to book a slot now.

Rema Rajiv

Ms Rajiv has been an Early Childhood educator and practitioner for the past 15 years at GIIS. She heads the Global Montessori Plus (GMP) Programme, supporting kindergarten students in their learning and holistic development to maximise the potential of every student. She has been instrumental in implementing developmentally age-appropriate curriculum that provides a strong foundation for lifelong learning. She is well-respected due to her rich experience in the field and passion for working with preschoolers, helping establish a good rapport with the parent community.​

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