Developing handwriting skills is something that all school-age children experience. In honor of National Handwriting Day (January 23), we are featuring some of the tools our Occupational Therapists use to help develop handwriting skills with a multi-sensory approach!
How can OTs help develop or improve handwriting?
Understanding the multi-step process of letter formation
Strengthening necessary visual and perceptual skills
Developing hand strength and endurance
Utilizing proper grasp techniques through fine motor skills
Demonstrating proper posture
What is a multi-sensory approach to handwriting?
Using activities that engage visual, auditory, and kinesthetic/tactile learning which helps to enhance memory and increase ability to retain new information.
Handwriting Without Tears
Our Therapy Director, Marilu Flores, OTR, is certified in the Handwriting Without Tears Curriculum. This is a program that was developed specifically to teach handwriting utilizing various methods and activities. Here she is with Dallas demonstrating handwriting activities focused on retention of difficult to remember letters.
You can see Dallas working on the letter F using specialized building blocks, tracing, writing, forming with Play-Doh, and finally copying and independently writing his letter. These are just a few tools in the Handwriting Without Tears arsenal designed to help kiddos master this skill.
Additional OT approved sensory handwriting activities you can do at home:
Use finger to write letters in a tray of flour, sand, or shaving cream
Use a craft stick or unsharpened pencil to write letters in Play-Doh or putty
Trace letters in paint with a cotton swab
Use popsicle sticks to build letters that have only straight lines
Write letters or words in chalk and erase by tracing with a wet paintbrush
Trace letters with a favorite toy like a car or animal
There are many activities and tools available for you to use when working on handwriting at home or in school! Have fun experimenting with different things and watching your kiddos enjoy creative play while developing this crucial skill!