Sunday, May 22, 2011

Free DIY Handwriting Worksheets

Last year, I mentioned a site for helping your child learn to write. That has been a great resource for me, but my only issue with it is that the cursive option isn't that great because the letters are not joined together.

This post contains affiliate links.

How to Create Your Own Handwriting Worksheets

Enter the
Amazing - Incredible Handwriting Worksheet Maker! This program allows you to design your own handwriting worksheets and their cursive option connects the letters perfectly. And it also uses the same cursive style that I used growing up, which I prefer to teach my kids.

And the best part? This one recognizes foreign letters, accents, and punctuation marks! Woot!

Test it out yourself and see what you think...

Tips for Teaching Your Child Handwriting

If you are just beginning to teach handwriting, I recommend the following:

  • Make it fun, not serious. Let your child experiment and make mistakes. Don't look for perfection to begin with because you want them to enjoy the process and get comfortable holding a pencil.

  • Start with simple exercises. Give your child a blank paper and a pencil or crayon. Have them fill the paper by drawing swirls and loops, or lines, or circles. Think about the strokes used in forming letters. Just let them experiment and explore and figure out how to make them.

  • Do it together. Sit with your child with your own paper and model what you want them to do. They can draw on their own paper and then both of you hold up your finished product when you're both done.

  • Stay away from technology... as much as is possible. Using paper and pencil is critical for brain development, including the areas of impulse control. Images and activities on screens happen way too fast and lead to impatience and a desire for instant gratification. Give your child the gift of living in the moment. And enjoying it.

  • Be happy. There's no wrong way to learn. Make the experience enjoyable or they'll hate the process.

Videos for Teaching Handwriting to Children

There are also many videos online that share tips or techniques for handwriting. Below are two that I have found to be the most helpful. 

The first is from FirstCry Parenting and has 10 concrete tips that all parents should consider.

The second video is from Handwriting Heroes. The best advice they give (in my opinion) is to start with lowercase letters, grouped by common strokes. 

Additional Tools for Teaching Handwriting

Pencil grips

If your child struggles with the proper way to hold a pencil, these pencil grips are an easy and gentle way to train fingers for the correct position. The best part is that they can be used on both right and left hands.

Channie’s Quick & Neat Alphabet Writing Pad

Channie’s Quick & Neat Alphabet Writing Pad gives children visual blocks to help guide them as they learn to write.

Gamenote Double Sided Magnetic Letter Board is a fabulous interactive way to teach children the correct steps in letter formation. Click the link and watch the video to see it in action.

These wooden boards are a simple, natural way to teach letter writing. The Double-Sided Alphabet Tracing Tool is a favorite among Montessori educators.

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