This is a collaborative post with Uniball
At almost three years old, Emma has just begun to enjoy writing. She’s always loved colouring and using glitter pens, but now writing letters is one of her favourite things to do. I also love watching her write little letters to her best friends and more recently, to Father Christmas to thank him for all her presents. Her childcare setting have been encouraging her to hold her pen well and I’ve been so surprised how well she has picked it up.
Encouraging Emma’s handwriting, even at such a young age is something that is close to my heart, so I’ve teamed up with Uniball to help spread awareness for children’s handwriting. I was amazed to hear that according to the Institute of Education, the quality of handwriting education in primary schools can have a direct impact on success into secondary and higher education. Furthermore, the National Literacy Trust suggests that as many as 25% of UK adults are classed as ‘functionally illiterate’ with many struggling to write a birthday card or a cheque.
In terms of Emma’s development, I very much follow her nursery’s lead but I know that with handwriting, practice is key. So whenever the opportunity strikes, we have been giving Emma a pen and a piece of paper and just letting her write as much as she’d like. She also enjoyed writing Christmas cards to our family and to her friends too, whilst reciting what she is writing. I’ve recorded a little video of her writing to Father Christmas below:
We started using felt tip pens and crayons when she was 18 months old, and noticed that she enjoys using felt tip pens more than crayons as they are a little easier to use. We’ve also picked up lots of tips via Uniball’s website: giving your child a small whiteboard and pen is a great way to start. They can then happily rub out the markings and start again – they also don’t need to press quite as hard as with crayons. I’ve also found that buying Emma an etch-a-sketch has been very helpful, as she enjoys being able to erase her drawings.
Uniball’s resources are a brilliant starting point to encourage your child’s handwriting skills and I really enjoyed having a browse to see if there are any other activities I could do with Emma. As Emma’s fine motor skills increase and in time, we’ll move onto drawing along a dotted line, but I don’t expect this will be until she is pre-school age. When we reach this stage, I’m pleased to know there is a big range of handwriting worksheets we can download and print out to keep practising.
Thanks to Uniball for sending us information about encouraging handwriting, we found it interesting to read and it will be so useful moving forward.