Miss Sophie Discusses Handwriting

‘Handwriting’ or ‘penmanship’ is a challenging skill which many children have difficulty mastering. According to the Handwriting Without Tears® 'Research Review', studies have estimated that between 10 to 30 per cent of elementary school children struggle with handwriting (Karlsdottir & Stephansson, 2002, as cited in Feder & Majnemer, 2007).

Many people are arguing that handwriting could become redundant in a digital age but, research clearly shows and brain science has confirmed that the discipline of handwriting helps a child with both verbalisation and creative thought. Experts also think that the discipline of handwriting is linked to reading skills and is an important component of early learning and communication as well as playing a significant role in the areas of the brain related to literacy development (Berninger 2012; James 2012). Research widely documents the consequences of poor handwriting on academic performance.

Before a child is ready to start forming letters – they need to develop pre-writing skills

These skills develop the strength and dexterity (handling small objects) in our hands as well as the strength of the muscles in our forearms to provide the stability for holding a pencil.

Miss Sophie has put together a great Pinterest board - hip hop hen: pre-handwriting skills which has lots of fun activities to help develop: fine and gross motor skills, strength, pincer grasp, hand eye co-ordination etc. 


Handwriting and Technology

hip hop hen strongly believes that twenty first century children must be exposed to tablets as well as pen and paper. However, handwriting is a tool that needs to be developed first. A tablet can be used to support this process to practise letter formations but, it should not used as the primary learning tool. That is why we have developed both an abc letter tracing app and a brand new abc letter tracing printable workbook. Miss Daisy recommends that a child (2 – 6 years) spends no more than two 20 minute sessions on a tablet - 40 minutes a day.

hip hop hen’s abc letter tracing printable workbook is made up of 52 pages of fun, letter-learning worksheets for colouring and practising handwriting – we are biased but, it is awesome (and FREE)! Our amazing illustrator Ben has created wonderful pictures to colour. It is perfect for a rainy day. Please read the terms and conditions before printing.

Handwriting Checklist

Is the child is sitting comfortably on a chair, in the correct position, parallel to an appropriate height table or desk? 

Is the child is using the correct tripod pencil grip


The most important thing is to have fun…

My pencil is my friend. Our letters curl and bend, and when ideas refuse to come I chew the other end.’ In Praise of Handwriting, by Julia Donaldson


Now, you can get going with:

1. hip hop hen: abc tracing printable workbook (52 **FREE** pages for children to practise their letter formations). 

2. hip hop hen: abc letter tracing app - practise handwriting - including cursive (joined-up handwriting). For more information about this featured app - check it out on the App Store.


Further information

Recommended handwriting font:

Sassoon Primary (this font) is the font that most schools will be using to teach the correct letter formations. 

Imagination Soup (pre-handwriting skills)… 

Handwriting Without Tears 

Teach Handwriting – Education for Parents 

The National Handwriting Association

#letter #learning #games




































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