Occupational therapist Tera Robinson has partnered with Help Me Grow Utah, to help prepare kids for handwriting success.
ENCOURAGE THE USE OF SMALL TOOLS
The use of small tools will require the small muscles of the hand to develop important fine motor skills for handwriting. You already have perfect items in your house right now: toothpicks, beads, string, pipe cleaners, tweezers, tongs, sticks, chalk, Legos, small game pieces, clothespins, paint brushes, etc. Get these out for play time to help develop fundamental fine motor skills!
Smaller is better! Stay away from thick or chunky writing tools for your young students. Buy the regular-sized pencils, crayons and thin markers. (Remember this when buying school supplies also.) In fact, save some money! Broken crayons and short pencils are ideal to encourage a proper pencil grasp.
Add a stylus to screens to encourage better fine motor skill development than just using fingers.
ENCOURAGE AN IDEAL PENCIL GRASP
Encourage a tripod pencil grasp. Thumb, pointer and middle finger should pinch the pencil while ring and pinkie fingers are tucked into the palm.
'Let the pencil breathe!' Allow thumb, pointer and middle fingers to form an circle while the finger tips hold the pencil. If fingers or thumb are wrapped against the pencil, it is difficult for fingers to move effortlessly without getting tired.
ENCOURAGE FORMING LETTERS FROM THE TOP
Reinforce starting each capital and lowercase letter at the top with the exception of lowercase d and e (which start in the middle). Handwriting becomes more automatic when letters have a consistent starting point. Eventually, we want students to be thinking about the thoughts they are writing, not on how to write the letters.
You can read my full article with tips for handwriting here on Help Me Grow Utah`s blog: 3 Simple Ways to Prepare Your Kindergartener for Handwriting Success here.