A huge benefit of practicing fine motor skills is improving handwriting. Who doesn’t want to help their kiddo learn to write their letters and develop from that to writing full sentences with beautifully clear writing skills? I have three boys, and handwriting is “not their favorite” which is their polite way of saying that they absolutely hate it. So today in our fine motor fun series I’m sharing my top tips for improving handwriting without writing!
4 Super Fun Tips for Improving Handwriting (Without Writing!)
See, when we first think about how to improve our kids’ handwriting, our brain might instantly go to copywork or handwriting practice sheets. Those are great ways to practice and improve handwriting, but they’re not always met with a bunch of enthusiasm from our kids. Thankfully, each of these ways of improving handwriting without writing is fun and super simple for mom!
Fine Motor Practice With the Pounding Kit
One of my best tips for improving handwriting is to hand your kiddo an I Can Pound! Kit and let them get to work. I’m not kidding at all when I say that letting my kids regularly pound with the weighted hammer and having them pull out the pegs has improved their handwriting immensely, without ever touching a pencil!
The pound kit’s hammer is weighted, so kids have to firmly grasp it while pounding, building their hand strength. Plus the pegs are specially designed (by kindergarten teachers and occupational therapists) to be shaped and sized in a way that forces kids to use their “pencil fingers” to grasp them. So every time they push in or pull out a peg, they’re working those pencil fingers and improving their handwriting!
Plus, the pound kit is just fun! What kid doesn’t want to pound pegs with a hammer and get to call it school?! To add in even more fine motor practice, we sometimes have the kids color the included picture, trace the dot to dots before pounding, and after pounding they can use the sheet with holes to practice lacing!
Improving Handwriting With I Can Build Letters
Another super easy tip for improving handwriting without writing is using the I Can Build! Letters kit! These super strong magnets help kids to visualize proper letter formation which leads to better handwriting. Plus they have to use those “pencil fingers” again to pull on the magnets, so they’re developing their fine motor strength at the same time!
My favorite part about the I Can Build! Letters kit is that it isn’t just lines and curves. This kit includes a shaped magnet for every single pencil stroke a person has to use to write any letter! Because the curve at the top of an f? It’s just not the same curve as the top of an n. I also love that these magnets are wicked strong (again, they were developed by OT’s and kindergarten teachers) so kids have to really work their finger muscles to move them around.
Improving Handwriting With Scissor Practice
We’re going to chat allllll about the benefits of scissor practice in our post tomorrow, so for now, I’ll just focus on how it can help with improving handwriting. See, most of these tips for getting better handwriting boil down to different activities that develop hand strength and fine motor control.
Scissors definitely do both of those things! Once again, using scissors to cut forces kids to work their “pencil fingers” to move the scissors. They also have to use the pencil fingers on their opposite hand to hold the paper (or the playdough, or whatever they’re cutting).
Improving Handwriting With Muscle Mover Cards
The Muscle Mover Cards are one of my very favorite products for improving handwriting. Now before you call me out and say that the Muscle Mover Cards *are* for actual handwriting, hear me out! There are about a bajillion ways that you can use the muscle mover cards for improving handwriting without writing at all!
One of my very favorite ways to use the muscle mover cards is to build the letters out of play doh. Building the letters helps reinforce proper letter formation, and manipulating the play doh helps to build fine motor strength. Lots of kiddos also love building the letters with wikki stix!
With these four super simple tips for improving handwriting without writing, you’ll be well on your way to helping your kiddos build their fine motor skills and lead to better handwriting in no time! If you want to check out some of these products mentioned in this post, you can check out the shop on the site!