Has your little one started reception year? Tips to help children with handwriting

Has your little one started reception year? Want to help them with handwriting?  If you’re keen for your kids to have the fine motor skills required to take cursive handwriting in their stride, one way to help them is to have them draw circles. 

 

At Raviv Practice London, most children we work with are in primary school and struggle with a number of issues including: 

  • Handwriting quality  
  • Reversing letters 
  • Reversing numbers 
  • Tracking skills when reading 
  • Tracking skills when writing 
  • Understanding left and right 

 

The Circle Exercise

The following exercise is one we use regularly and find effective for children of any age. 

  1. Put up a large whiteboard (or, if you’re feeling brave, tape a very large piece of paper to a wall) at your child’s eye level, so they can work vertically. Working vertically helps very young children, in particular, with (a) the motor processes involved in hand-eye coordination aiding and (b) with reflex integration.
  2. Draw a dot centrally at eye level to give them a starting point. The starting point for the circle is always at eye level and central to the whiteboard/piece of paper. So, half the circle will be on the right, and the other half to the left.   
  3. Your child’s free hand should be placed on the wall to use as a navigation tool.  
  4. Now get your child to draw a clockwise circle of around 40-45cm in diameter. If your child is left-handed, they will be drawing the circle towards the hand on the wall. If they are right-handed, they draw away from the circle away from the hand on the wall.  
  5. Keep practising and keeping things light and fun. When your child has the hang of regularly drawing the circle standing up, you can attempt the same exercise but in the more usual head facing down onto a piece of paper 

 

Teaching your child to write using cursive script is recommended as it will help them to learn spelling patterns, faster

 

Why is drawing only clockwise circles so important? 

Practising and understanding how to form shapes clockwise is a transferable skill: we read from left to right; when writing using cursive script,we move our hand in a clockwise direction (regardless of whether you’re left or right-handed); and of course numbers also follow the same clockwise principle. Try it for yourself – quickly write a 2, 3, 7 and 5 and you’ll see you jot them from left to right on the page and each one is formed in a clockwise motion!

If you have a child that continues to reverse their letters and numbers, or is experiencing any of the problems mention above, get in touch. I’m sure we can help!  

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