Handwriting Tips

Sitting Posture:

  • Your child’s workspace should be comfortable and provide support.
    Optimally, feet should rest on the floor or stable surface, and hips and knees should be at 90 degree angles.  
  • Desk or table height should be about 2 inches above elbow height.

Writing Tool:

  • Provide a sharp pencil with a good eraser.
  • Short pencils are good for small hands, but should be at least as long as wrist to first knuckle.
  • By kindergarten, most students DO NOT need thick writing tools;  a standard pencil is best.
  • If your child uses a pencil grip at school, please also use one at home.  Contact me if you’re unsure which is being used, and I can provide one or tell you where you can find one.

Warm-up exercises:

  • Finger Push-ups: Hold a pencil or other small item between thumb, index and middle fingers.  Flex and extend fingers while maintaining a good grasp on the item.  
  • Putty and Doh: Pull, squeeze and poke
  • Ball Walk: Using mainly the thumb, index, and middle fingers, “walk” a small ball (tennis to hand-size ball) up and down the upper part of the leg.  

Letter formation:

  • Keep handwriting practice short and focused (10-15 minutes).
  • Please refer to the appropriate Handwriting Without Tears letter formation chart HWT letter formation charts
  • Provide support as needed: Demonstrate letter and numbers, provide a model, have child trace, and give consistent verbal cues.
  • Use a variety of motivating writing tools to keep things interesting: Colored pencils, smelly markers, highlighters, dry or wet erase markers on white board or laminated paper, paint and paint brushes, crayons, chalk, Wiggle Writer (Hart Enterprises, Inc.), Glow Station (Crayola Properties, Inc.), Boogie Board (Kent Displays, Inc.)
  • Write in sand, flour, corn meal, shaving cream, soap foam, hair gel in a plastic bag
  • Form letter and numbers out of dough, Wikki Stix (Omnicor, Inc.), pipe cleaners, and yarn
  • Use a tablet white board and other letter formation apps