Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Improving Children's Handwriting with Free Printables

A child writing
There are a lot of positives to the advance of the digital age. Laptops and iPads are providing a wealth of opportunities for children to develop their writing. Without the limitation of forming the words individually using a pencil and paper (which many children struggle with) it's proving much quicker for them to get their ideas down, so their story writing and other subjects are progressing much faster. However, the downside is that it might discourage them from persevering with the important skill of good handwriting and, at some stage, they will still need to write nicely. It is so much easier to start good habits early, so here are some ideas to encourage good handwriting in children. 

This post is inspired by Manuscript Pen Company, who sent us some cool pens to play with and share with you!

One of the trickiest aspects of handwriting, particularly when you're first starting out, is getting the letters the right size and in proportion. When using lines, we all know that capitals should go all the way from the top to the bottom, but the difficult bit is getting the smaller letters exactly half way up each time. One way to practice this, is to use a dotted line to indicate the centre of the lines you are writing between. You are welcome to print out this example, or you can invest in something like this rolling ruler which makes it really easy to make your own dotted lines as often as you need to, in any size you like. 

Free Printable Handwriting Lines

As with all activities, it's definitely more appealing when it's fun and there are lots of games that hone the physical skills necessary to handle a writing implement correctly. Colouring is a great way to encourage pen control and, with the recent rise in popularity of adult colouring, it's something you can even do together as a family. Any games that involve maneuvering a pen will help develop good habits, such as grip and manipulation. Dot to dots are great, or something like these mazes are a good place to start. For an extra challenge, try to get round them without touching the sides. Again, please feel free to print them if you would like to. 

Free Printable Maze Game

Free Printable Maze Game

If you have older children there are a couple of options for making handwriting fun. One is to delve into the world of fabulous stationery. I developed a love of stationery early on, and I'm sure it helped with my love of writing. There are so many options for cool stationery these days; whole shops are now devoted to it, and it doesn't have to cost a lot. There is really nothing quite like starting a brand new notebook and the range of tempting pens you can buy is astounding. These CalliCREATIVE calligraphy felt tips from Manuscript are so much fun to use, they make writing into art, which is much more entertaining if you're not keen on words!

Callicreative Pens from Manuscript

Another option, particularly if you do have a child with an artistic flair, is to consider introducing them to calligraphy, with a good old-fashioned fountain pen. This Manuscript Calligraphy Set is a great introduction to the art of calligraphy and is very simple to use for beginners to this important art.

Manuscript Calligraphy Set

This is L's first attempt with the Manuscript fountain pen and I don't think he's doing too badly! He really enjoyed this new challenge and it is bound to help his general handwriting along the way. 

Child Writing with Fountain Pen

He also drew this rather impressive doodle. Who knew you could doodle with a fountain pen? Even doodling helps with penmanship, so it's even worth encouraging this lesser-known artform! 

Child's doodle, including a pokeball and a cartridge pen.

Wednesday 16th August marks the first World Calligraphy Day, launched by internationally renowned writing equipment manufacturer Manuscript Pen Company to celebrate the beauty of the squiggly, swishy writing style. If you've never tried calligraphy, now is a great time to start. Keyboards and tablets might have their place in our tech-obsessed world, but they could never replace the joy of creating something fabulous yourself. 

Help your child improve their handwriting with our ideas and printables!

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4 comments

  1. I could do with improving my handwriting myself, it's awful, it changes the more I write in one go too. I've read articles about what your handwriting says about you so I guess I have multiple personalities - hmmm, that's possibly true!

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  2. Some great ideas here! I remember those ruled sheets from when I was a kid.

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  3. Having a fountain pen when I was a child really helped my writing come on but it is still a bit of a mess if I'm honest. I'm glad my kids have followed in their dads footsteps. Mich x

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  4. I think that these are such a great idea for any age. I remember Grace practising with something similar when she was younger x

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