Monday, June 23, 2014

Starting Point activity for handwriting

To do this activity, you will need a piece of paper and a writing implement.  Crayola Colored Pencils are my favorite, but anything will do. You may also want a cheat sheet of correct strokes for forming each letter.  Our school district distributes an official guide. Click here to view the free letter formation guides from .   

With Your Child

Sit down with your child and cheerfully explain that you are going to write his name.  Write just his first name using correct grip and strokes.  Invite your child to try it.  When he is finished , say "Good job!" The only time you won't say "good job" is if he refuses, in which case say, "Another day," and put the paper away.

At this point note two things. 

Did my child hold the pencil with a correct grip? Yes or No.
Did my child use correct strokes for each of the letters? Yes or No.

If both answers are no, you may demonstrate to your child what a correct grip looks like one time.  Then sit and draw with him while interest and time last.  No instruction, just have fun together.

If your child has a correct grip, but uses incorrect strokes, you may demonstrate one letter and ask him to try it.  Make it a big deal if he copies you correctly, then have some fun drawing together.

If your child uses correct strokes and seems interested show him more letters and ask him to copy them.   Continue while his interest lasts, then have some fun drawing together.   Repeat as many days as needed until you find a letter or two that needs work or confirm that he can do them all.

What's next?  

Poor pencil grip is a result of weak muscles, not lack of understanding.  If your child needs exercise in this area, there are a ton of fun ways to work out the muscles without using a pencil.   Concentrate on those for now, and just pullout the pencil every week or two.  The activities you need are usually labeled "fine motor" and should exercise the pincher muscles. Click here to see some that we have done.  Meanwhile your child can begin learning strokes simply by tracing them with his finger.

If your child has a good grip, he will probably enjoy pencil based activities, so enjoy them and work on learning strokes.

Click here to learn How I first learned about fine motor practice

From the Anonymous OT, What does good grasp look like?  (They changed the rules since we were in school!)


This post is part of the At Home Pre-School Bootcamp.  Click here to return to the week one summary.  Click here to start at the beginning.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.  Click here for more information.   Thanks for your support!  The post, Starting Point activity for handwriting, by Christy McGuire originally appeared on

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