6 tips on how to help your child develop their handwriting skills

by Anna Michaelidou

Handwriting is one of those amazing skills that children learn with practice and patience. It is a difficult and challenging skill to master but an important one; and there are plenty of ways to ensure your child develops their handwriting in a smooth and fun way.


Practising is key to the development of a child's handwriting and encouraging small things such as sitting properly and holding the pencil in the correct way are key to ensuring success. Having some handwriting materials at home and incorporating handwriting into a child's daily routine are great ways to assist your child in their handwriting journey. Recording their progress with a reward chart and praising their progression continuously are also vital aspects of developing this important skill.

Here are 6 tips that can help your child develop their handwriting skills:

1. Make learning fun

I think we can all agree that when a child is having fun whilst learning a new skill their chances of faster progress is a given. Simply offering your child the choice of different coloured pencils or different types of paper is a great way to heighten their interest in an activity. Playing fun word games such as hangman or anagram games and asking them to write the answers instead of simply getting them to copy words will instantly make writing more appealing.

2. Hold the pencil in the right way

holding pencil

Learning to hold a pencil in the right way is not as straightforward as it sounds and some children find this task more challenging than other aspects of learning to write. The best place to hold a pen or pencil is to let the pencil rest next to the base of your thumb. There are some fun utensils you can get such as pencil grips which can help your child get used to holding the pencil in the right way. Practising is key here and praise is also an essential part of the learning process.

3. Finger painting

Building a child's handwriting skills is not simply a matter of ensuring they hold a writing tool in the right way but also improve and strengthen their muscle skills. Finger painting is a fun and interactive way of building a child's muscles and teaching them to use their imaginations and express themselves freely. Praise your child's art skills when they are finger painting (or drawing shapes in the sand) and encourage them to use their fingers and hands to practice shapes and letters that may need some extra practice.

finger painting

4. Encourage learning games

Learning games will not only help a child develop their handwriting skills but will ensure they also develop their fine-motor skills. Simple tasks such as controlling their writing utensils, learning to sit with the correct posture and developing their coordination can all be implemented through some fun learning games. Fun games such as Jenga where your child will learn that a steadier hand is key to success and other board games that require different muscle building skills will all be beneficial to assisting your child's development.

5. Use the right tools

Having the right size writing tool is very important. If your child is struggling with a longer pencil try giving them a shorter pencil and ensure that you encourage them to hold the pencil in the right way. There are also handwriting aids available that can be a great help and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes; take your child with you and allow them to choose and try until they find one they feel comfortable with. Also make sure your child has a good eraser for rubbing out those mistakes and understanding that mistakes are inevitable but an eraser can get rid of them.

6. Have patience

Patience is probably the most important aspect of helping a child develop any skill. Show your child as many times as they need to be shown and praise their efforts along the way. Concentrate on what your child needs according to their age and ability and concentrate on one thing moving forward only when you feel your child is comfortable with what they have learnt.

To conclude

Making sure your child has a comfortable place to practice their writing and different writing tools to train with can make all the difference to their development. Handwriting is a skill that must be learnt but does not have to be a chore and with some fun and patience can be accomplished in a wonderful way.