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My 4 year old is struggling with his handwriting, does anyone have any tips?

17 replies

anthiarodriguez · 01/07/2020 15:25

My little boy is struggling with forming letters when writing, has anyone got any tips or product recommendations? I want to teach him from home, as we don't know when he can go back to preschool

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fruitbrewhaha · 01/07/2020 15:27

Gosh he is only 4.

I think rather than pushing him to write get him playing with playdough, small object etc to increase his dexterity.

SparklingLime · 01/07/2020 15:47

Former TA, and I’ve seen how trying to get them to struggle with writing before they are ready causes stress and delays their progress. Instead try lots of activities such as threading big beads, pasta or cotton reels on a shoe lace to build dexterity. Here’s some more ideas: www.inspiro.org.au/blog/improve-your-childs-fine-motor-skills

Plus wipe-clean books. I’d leave the letter formation ones until he’s had some fun with the mazes etc and gained confidence. This one is only £2.54 at the moment:
www.amazon.co.uk/Wipe-Clean-Mazes-Usborne-Clean-Books/dp/1409524728?tag=mumsnet&ascsubtag=mnforum-21

There’s lots more:
www.amazon.co.uk/Wipe-Clean-Space-Activities/dp/1474922295?tag=mumsnet&ascsubtag=mnforum-21

RaraRachael · 01/07/2020 15:53

As a teacher, I would suggest you find out what letter formation his school will be using. There's nothing worse as a teacher that having to "unteach" wrong letter formation - it's very confusing for the child.

I once had a relative show me proudly how clever his 4yo son was, as he could write his name - it was all in capital letters. Confused. Just why would you do that? We don't write words in capital letters.

Laks0007 · 01/07/2020 15:54

Why does a 4 year old need to write? In my country kids don't go to school until 7 ( and most just start writing then)

riotlady · 01/07/2020 16:00

4 is so little! I agree, concentrate on building up strength and co-ordination in hand, wrist and shoulder. Play do, threading activities, painting, cutting, colouring in (big, simple shapes), drawing with your finger in shaving foam in the bath, etc. Can be beneficial to do things on lots of different surfaces as well eg. painting on an easel, lying on your tummy on the floor to colour in.

GiantKitten · 01/07/2020 16:09

@RaraRachael

As a teacher, I would suggest you find out what letter formation his school will be using. There's nothing worse as a teacher that having to "unteach" wrong letter formation - it's very confusing for the child.

I once had a relative show me proudly how clever his 4yo son was, as he could write his name - it was all in capital letters. Confused. Just why would you do that? We don't write words in capital letters.

DD1 aged 4 taught herself (honest!) to write her name at nursery school, & that was all in caps, but luckily the summer break intervened & she’d lost it by September. Subsequently she learned lower case writing at school.

Same DD was quite slow to get going on reading, only really taking off at around 6, but was reading chapter books & testing at age 11 a year or so later, so honestly, very early achievements are really not worth pushing for.

Agree completely that your boy doesn’t need to be working on his writing, OP. Let him play Smile
netflixismysidehustle · 01/07/2020 16:17

Search on here for the activities that improve strength in hands and arms. For example get him to use the hose pipe or paint your fences with water for arm strength. Lego (not duplo) , threading beads etc to improve hand and finger strength. There's a much better list posted elsewhere on here.

BlankTimes · 01/07/2020 16:34

Try chunky pencil grips or the ones that have individual places to slot his fingers into.

randomsabreuse · 01/07/2020 16:39

My DD went from fist grip to detailed drawing in about 2 months. Lots of Lego was the main thing that grabbed her attention.

She also likes tracing things. Her letter formation is ok, difficulty is getting her to listen about where to start! Especially as listening to me isn't her thing (joys of lockdown and homeschooling!)

Hollyhead · 01/07/2020 16:43

Take him to a play area with lots of climbing frames, painting, chalking outside etc. Forget the writing and focus on fun gross and fine motor development

Eliza1432 · 01/07/2020 17:00

Definitely give Love Writing Co. a go! They've been great for my little ones (5 and 8) lovewritingco.com they have some great free resources too which are worth trying.

anthiarodriguez · 06/07/2020 14:26

@fruitbrewhaha @GiantKitten My son's already trying to write, so I want to encourage him while he's got this enthusiasm! I think it'll stand him in good stead for nursery, and if he forgets it by then at least he's had fun trying beforehand!

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anthiarodriguez · 06/07/2020 14:28

@BlankTimes thank you, I will! He's been struggling with holding my pencils so I'll definitely give that a go Smile

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anthiarodriguez · 06/07/2020 14:29

@RaraRachael thank you Rara! That's great advice, I hadn't thought of that - the last thing I want to do is confuse him!

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anthiarodriguez · 06/07/2020 14:30

@SparklingLime thank you, I will give the DryWipe boards a try! :)

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BiggerBoat1 · 06/07/2020 14:31

STOP IT!!!

He's 4!

anthiarodriguez · 06/07/2020 14:32

@Eliza1432 thank you very much! I downloaded some of the 3-5 activity sheets for him this morning & he is loving them! Am definitely going to give the chunky pencils a try Grin

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