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Seven Ways to Help with Handwriting

Kids aren't able to write well until they have developed good fine-motor skills. Fortunately, these skills improve easily with lots of practice.

Use the following activities to help your young child develop the precision, balance, and hand-eye coordination that are needed to perform the fine-motor skills used in handwriting:

1. Give your child clay or play-dough to play with to strengthen the major muscles used in handwriting.

2. Encourage her to play with Legos, miniature cars, small blocks, action figures, and other small toys.

3. Do puzzles with your child.

4. Provide creative art projects that involve using crayons, marking pens, scissors, and finger paints, as well as tearing paper.

5. Play games with your child that involve the handling of cards and small game pieces.

6. Ask your child to sort collections of loose coins into stacks of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.

7. Help your child learn to manage such everyday skills as tying and lacing his shoes and buttoning his clothes.

Remember, every child has a different timetable in acquiring the fine-motor skills needed for handwriting. The more your child uses her fingers in activities, the sooner she will acquire these skills.

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