Supporting Reception handwriting
Start by asking the school about helping with handwriting. Do they teach a particular style of handwriting? At what point do they teach the children to join up letters from a printed to a cursive script? Some schools start this in Reception, others leave it until later.
Find out if the school uses any specific phrases when teaching handwriting. For example, 'c' is often called curly 'c' and 'k' kicking 'k'.
Gross and fine motor skills
Children need to develop control over both large (gross) muscles and fine (small) muscles. The gross muscles are required for running, walking, crawling, throwing etc.
The fine muscles of the hands and wrists need to be developed because they help with the small movements needed for handwriting.
Schools provide a range of activities to support the development of both sets of muscles. Some of the activities that help to develop gross motor skills in relation to handwriting are:
- Sky writing – writing letters in the air
- Writing a letter on someone's back
- Moving ribbons attached to sticks through the air in letter-shapes
School activities in the early years that help to develop fine motor skills include:
- Sewing and weaving
- Finger rhymes
- Sand and water play
- Finger painting - making large and small patterns
- Playing with clay, playdough, plasticine
- Cutting out shapes
- Painting and drawing
As a parent, you can, of course, do many of these activities at home with your child. Sometimes boys develop fine motor control more slowly than girls.