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100 Tips for Nannies and Families

The advice in this book comes from Candi Wingate, President of Care4hire.com.
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Helping Your Kids Develop Penmanship Skills

You want your kids to have nice handwriting, or, well, at least legible handwriting.  It’s easy for kids and grown-ups alike to scrawl something quickly and call it good whether or not it’s readable.  However, if the note isn’t readable, it’s virtually useless.  Can’t read your reminder note?  Well, then, you have no reminder, do you?  Your spouse can’t read your note communicating where you’re going and when you’ll be back?  Well, then you haven’t really communicated the information, have you?  Poor handwriting can create many difficulties, so let’s talk about how to help your kids develop penmanship skills so that they don’t have to experience these difficulties.

The keys to developing penmanship skills in younger kids are:  

  • inspiring your kids to want nice handwriting and
  • helping them develop fine motor skills. 

You can inspire your younger kids to want nice handwriting by having nice handwriting yourself, praising the nice handwriting of your kids and others, and speaking with your kids about the value of nice handwriting.

You can help your younger kids develop fine motor skills by engaging in the following activities with your kids: playing games such as Jenga, Don’t Spill the Beans, and Operation; playing string games like Cat’s Cradle; putting together jigsaw puzzles; playing with Legos and other small toys; engaging in arts and crafts activities like creating paper mache figures, playing with play dough, finger painting, coloring in coloring books, coloring with sidewalk chalk, cutting paper doll chains or snowflakes, coloring Easter eggs, and threading popcorn on a string for Christmas garland; tying shoes and ribbons; buttoning and zipping coats and other items of apparel; cooking and baking; writing thank-you notes; writing back-soon notes; writing letters to grandparents and friends and family members that live at a distance; writing holiday greeting cards; petting the family kitty or puppy gently; etc.

(Side note:  ensure that your kids are using their dominant hand for writing, as some “southpaws” may be using their right hand to write because that’s what they see everybody else doing or that’s what their teacher expects them to do.  Also ensure that your kids are holding their pens or pencils in the proper position.  Oh, and one more thing:  make sure that you have examples of how letters should look prominently displayed in your kids’ living spaces throughout the process of their learning penmanship.)

If you have worked with your young kids on their handwriting, and there seems to be little to no improvement over time, you may want to work with your kids’ school systems to determine if there may be underlying issues such as dyslexia, ADHD, or other concerns.

The key to developing penmanship skills in older kids is: 

  • inspiring your kids to want nice handwriting.

You can help your older kids want to have nice handwriting by having nice handwriting yourself, praising the nice handwriting of your kids and others, speaking with your kids about the value of nice handwriting,  taking calligraphy classes with your kids, studying the handwriting styles of various generations or famous people over centuries (example:  John Hancock), etc.

By following the tips above, you can help your kids develop penmanship skills.  For more useful tips; continue to visit Care4hire.com.

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