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Handwriting practice

Johnny prints

I bought a handwriting wipe-off mat at Target last year during their back-to-school sale. Emma used it to learn how to write beautifully, and then about a month ago Johnny started using it as well. It was pretty worn out, so I bought Johnny a new one this summer. Emma asked for a cursive one to try, and she is doing really well with her cursive letters now. In France, children are taught to write cursive first; they get introduced to printing around sixth grade. I’ve wondered if the fluidity of cursive makes it easier to learn, and if it helps to eliminate the confusion children sometimes have over the similarity of lowercase b, d, p, and q.

My kids really enjoy writing letters with the smooth whiteboard markers, and this is an activity they seem to choose when they need a quiet calm-down period.

Emma practices cursive

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

16 thoughts on “Handwriting practice”

  1. It IS easier to learn cursive first. Many occupational therapists will do this with developmentally delayed children. There is a book, I think it is called Handwriting Without Tears, that teaches all sorts of nifty tricks to get kids writing easier. They encourage skinny crayons & especially broken crayons (oh! the horror of broken crayons!) to help them develop the proper grip.
    .-= Suzy´s last blog ..The goods =-.

  2. beautiful handwriting – you’re so lucky that your kids enjoy doing that. And interesting comments about the cursive – I never thought of that!

  3. Elisa | blissfulE

    Wow! Such concentration and amazing attention to detail. Is it my imagination or is Johnny working backwards across the page? That’s something a lefty would do to keep from getting ink all her hands!
    .-= Elisa | blissfulE´s last blog ..the ABC song- violin and drum duet =-.

    1. @Elisa – He is! My dad is a lefty and I had the same thought, but he seems pretty right-hand dominant…

  4. Wow! Their handwriting is beautiful!

    Sounds like you are getting your money’s worth from those placemats! I have a couple of those for the girls, but I had forgotten about them. I should bring them out again… especially since I just bought a package of wipe off markers!
    .-= Valerie @ FFFB´s last blog ..Stunning “Glass” Sculpture =-.

  5. I picked up the cursive one at Michael’s awhile back, and Kev calls it funny writing! He loves playing on it so much that I actually had to hide it to give myself a break from having a marker wielding toddler. I need to find the ones with printing! (Target opening here soon…). I’m super impressed that Johnny is staying within the size constraints of the lines. I’ve started practice writing with my little guy and he can fit about three letters on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. :D
    .-= lynn´s last blog ..Review and Give-Away- Bob Books! =-.

  6. Thanks, everyone!

    @Natalie – I wish Anna could come teach Emma her numbers!

    @Ticia – my kids LOVE dry erase – you just have to watch their clothes and furniture, because it doesn’t come off!

    @Denise – they really do enjoy this, and it’s a great way to recover from/prevent meltdowns.

    @Jessica – I didn’t Crayola made dry-erase crayons – thanks for the tip, and I’ll have to look for them the next time I’m at Target!

  7. Did you know that Crayola now makes dry-erase crayons? I saw them at Target the other day and picked some up. If you don’t want to use a board or you want to have new words for them to copy/trace, you can just slip a paper inside a sheet protector and it works great. You can google handwriting practice and find all sorts of print-outs.

  8. I am so impressed that even Johnny is fascinated with writing letters. Maybe Emma can come over and teach Anna – she writes beautifully and obviously an inspiration to Johnny :)
    .-= Natalie´s last blog ..Science Sunday – Marine Life =-.

  9. Mary Anne, you literally blow me away with what you’ve taught your kids so young, and they blow me away with how easily and eagerly they catch on and grasp things!

    You are an amazing mom and teacher!
    .-= Susana´s last blog ..Nuts and Bolts Joe Robot =-.

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