• Hannah

Why A Student May Have Weak Handwriting

Updated: Apr 14

If a child has messy handwriting, it doesn’t mean they are lazy!

In most cases, handwriting ability is closely linked to fine motor skill development. This largely relates to the effective use of the smaller muscles in our hands and wrists. Consideration needs to be made regarding body posture, pencil grip, and pressure to paper, so it’s a lot to consider all at once for young students.


How can you build these fine motor skills at home to improve handwriting?

The good news is that there are many activities at home that will help build the fine motor skills used for writing, and they are covert enough that your students won’t know they’re training their hands!

Try some tracing exercises together by printing a simple image of something they love, and then using tracing paper over the image for the little one to trace. Alternatively, use regular paper over your printout and stick both onto the window, so the light will provide a clear image for the youngster to trace. Practice building confident strokes, as it is often precision that forms the wobbles in our lines. Revisit the idea that the picture doesn’t have to be perfect – it’s a fun activity and we’re proud of our hard work no matter what!


First image taken from @teachpreschool on Pinterest, second image taken from Julie at Ridge Light Ranch, and the third image take from @TinkeringStudio on Twitter.


Another activity is using tongs to pick up items of various weights. The heavier the item and the further back the tongs are held, the more the small muscles in your hand are being worked! Make it a competition to see who can collect the most items before the timer runs out, or sort the items by colour, size or texture, for a challenge.


First image taken from @makefilmplay on Pinterest, second image taken from King’s College blog, and the third image is taken from Fun Learning For Kids.


Messy handwriting does not mean the student is lazy. It is important to celebrate the progress of the student, and to take time noticing the particulars when it comes to their writing – such as writing letters from base to top or including too many strokes. If you’d like some support in your efforts to improve fine motor skills related to handwriting, feel free to book a tutor!

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