Handwriting in Early Childhood

Hey, this blog is meant to be about early childhood and early learning!  Well handwriting skills begin in infancy. Successful handwriting is not just about how a child holds a pencil, it requires so many skills that are developed over time:
  • large muscle movements of the arm
  • body awareness which is necessary to develop direction awareness
  • direction awareness to know up, down, left, right, around, next to etc
  • good muscle tone to maintain proper posture
  • 2 eyes working together and focusing
  • eyes and hands working together
  • ability to cross the midline of the body
  • small muscle development of the hand and fingers
  • finger dexterity
  • dominant hand use
All of these skills come together in the correct pencil grip and a natural and easy ability to write.
So handwriting in early childhood is not about holding a pencil and practicing - this is the last step in a long line of achieving - it is about moving.
Look at the amazing opportunity for developing muscles in the arms and hands in tummy time, when crawling, reaching for a toy, picking up and dropping toys, shaking rattles, pushing prams, dancing, catching and throwing balls, playing on swings, flying a kite, swimming, climbing up and hanging from the monkey bars at the park and other outdoor games.
So each child's own personal development of adequate handwriting hopefully begins in an enchanted childhood of moving, exploring and playing where they are learning and developing all the skills needed to write before even forming a word. After all, this active learning we call play is children's work.

You may also be interested in my ideas about the best toys for children.


Holly said...

Found you on NOBH!

Thanks for posting this! My "day job" is as a pediatric physical therapist, and what you say about movement being key is SO true! Starting in infancy. Tactile exploration is vital, too. I say let kids play in their food; they're learning! LOL

Can't wait to explore the rest of your site, and follow your posts!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

So true! My own children are great examples. I limited my firstborn's access to scissors, crayons and pencils when he was a toddler and preschooler. (In my defense I had 4 babies in 5 years and didn't want his siblings getting into the crayons.) Last year we learned he has a dominant eye issue. AND he's left handed. All that adds up to weak fine motor skills and terrible handwriting.

Now my youngest is a preschooler and I see a world of difference between the two. My preschooler colors, cuts, manipulates puzzles, throws balls, etc. All the things his oldest brother didn't do. He will be much better prepared for writing when the time comes.

Susan Case said...

I LOVE your blog! Wonderful! I hope you'll visit my blog: Kindergarten for Teachers and Parents.

Our Homeschool Reviews said...

Hi and thanks for linking up at NOBH. :)

Lesley @ early play said...

So great to get interesting comments about this topic and YES tactile exploration is what it is all about

schoolapple said...

You really pointed out the details and science behind the writing.

Manna Children's Yoga said...

Everyone loves what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever work and reporting!
Keep up the fantastic works guys I've included you guys to our blogroll.

Luk Learning said...

Wow, this article is good, my sister is woking and analyzing these kinds of things, therefore I am going to let know her. Thanks.

Have a look at my blog


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