Multisensory Techniques To Help Teach Handwriting
As we continue to explore and research new ways to teach children with different learning difficulties effectively, we have learned various techniques that teachers and parents can use to help teach children better handwriting.
Some children may struggle with writing, and using some of these multisensory techniques can help in more ways than one. Your handwriting is more than simply jotting down shapes to form letters and words. It involves fine motor skills and visual-motor skills, which some young children may struggle with.
Here are some multisensory techniques that may help your child develop the skills necessary to develop better handwriting.
Dark-Ruled Lines and Bumpy Paper
If your child cannot consistently stay within the lines when they write, then you may want to consider getting paper with bolder and wider-ruled lines. This helps create a more prominent barrier that they can be more mindful of when practicing their writing, preventing their words from drifting. You can also find printable copies online that are readily available for download.
Another technique you could try requires just a little bit of glue traced along the lines. When dried, it creates this textured surface, which creates a more physical barrier that the pen or pencil bumps against. You can then teach them how tall or short their letters should be based on the bumps.
Mazes and Tracing
Another great way to practice letters and handwriting is by having the child trace shapes and letters. You can then turn it into a sort of maze – running from left to right, top to bottom (like how we write) – and make them trace a pencil through corners and curves.
This helps develop the fine motor skills they need to write and gives them a better orientation for the direction writing follows.
Wet-Dry-Try is an app from Handwriting Without Tears that aims to help teach kids handwriting skills. However, you can try out a version of the activity without needing the app itself. You’ll need a chalkboard, sponges in the shape of small cubes, and chalk.
First, you’ll write a letter on the board as an example. With a slightly wet sponge, your child can then write the letter with water on the board. Then have them write it with a dry sponge and finally with chalk. This is much like the tracing practice but is more tactile.
Some children might struggle with visual-spatial awareness, which is what w Spacekid is used for. If they happen to leave spaces between their words that are too wide or too small, you can make a Spacekid using this template. After writing a word, place it next to it and then have them write the next word.
There are many more techniques than what we covered here, each with their unique approach and difficulty that they tackle. As we become more aware of various learning disabilities and problems, it’s essential to know how we can best compensate so that everyone gets the best opportunities to learn and grow.