Refrain from adopting improper habits. The correct posture for holding a pen is crucial, and both teachers and children will appreciate its significance in the long run

Refrain from adopting improper habits. The correct posture for holding a pen is crucial, and both teachers and children will appreciate its significance in the long run

Graphomotor development commences in the very first months of a baby's life. By four months, babies begin to grasp objects randomly, progressing to a palmar grasp. Subsequently, children engage in 'scribbling,' which leads to the ability to draw lines, and various shapes and write their first letters, words, and sentences. The development of graphomotor skills is a pivotal component of a child's overall development and is indispensable for their future success in everyday activities. Children can adopt incorrect pen-holding techniques, or parents may seek accelerated progress beyond age-appropriate.

The most often made errors when teaching children to write are:

  • demanding accelerated progress - can cause the child to feel under pressure. It is essential to grant them the appropriate amount of time to master basic skills and gradually move to more difficult ones, 

  • use of improper writing techniques - it is essential to master the proper pen-holding method. Only force the progress if you are sure about the correct pen-holding technique. There are plenty of activities for fine motor skills development, and you can leave the writing to the experts,

  • insufficient patience and praise - learning new facts requires much patience and credit from the parent or a teacher, and children should be praised for every progress.

  • ignoring individual needs - every child has their own pace when learning new skills, so respecting their needs is essential. 

  • lack of fun and creativity - remember that learning can be enjoyable; encourage children to engage in their creations and develop their creativity in writing. 

Everything has its own time

Parents often want children to learn to write as soon as possible. It is not necessary to teach pre-schoolers to write forcibly. It is sufficient if children master the correct pen-holding technique, thanks to which they will learn how to make coordinated movements. Remember, a child should learn to write in school under pedagogical supervision. The teacher explains the process and doesn't have to “reteach” improper pen-holding techniques or badly learnt letters taught at home. Everything has its own time; don't compete with others. You can focus, for example, on drawing lines, wavy lines or dots.

When can a child draw the first lines and shapes?

Graphomotor development begins in the first months of a baby’s life. Later on, children learn to hold a pencil or a pen awkwardly, but it presents an essential milestone, and a child should have enough time and space to practice it. From age two, a child can draw, holding the pencil with three fingers, possibly with four fingers as a support and can, therefore, draw lines or trace a circle. 

Children should be offered, for example, construction sets or modelling clay at this age, as well as toys that enable the development of fine motor skills. From three and a half, one should be mindful of the correct pen-holding technique aided by special ergonomically shaped three-cornered pencils or wax crayons.

A four- to five-year-old child can trace a cross, diagonal lines, squares, and letters.

Preschoolers aged five to six can trace a triangle and most small and capital letters.

The correct pen-holding technique is essential not only for the smoothness and readability of writing but also for the health of the hand and overall ease while writing. Here are some recommendations for avoiding problems that may arise from the wrong pen-holding grip of a pen or a pencil:

  • hold the pen at a 45-degree angle, ensuring the tip touches the paper.
  • use the tripod grasp, holding the pen or pencil between the index finger and the thumb.
  • keep writing utensils in a horizontal position.
  • maintain a relaxed hand while writing, avoiding tension.
  • take regular breaks during writing to prevent hand and muscle strain.

Gradual development of graphomotor skills is the key

The development of graphomotor and writing skills varies in children. Some children may be ready to learn to write sooner, whilst others need more time. It is essential to support the gradual development of graphomotor skills, allowing children to master simple drawings and progressively improve writing skills. In this way, it is crucial to be mindful of correct pencil grasp, proper shaping of letters and gradual improvement of speed and accuracy of writing skills.

With these Lerni products, you can train graphomotor skills playfully: 

-  Magnetic boards        

- colouring books Hooray, Water!

-   Magic drawing

Remember, some children may need more praise and practice, while others may be faster in mastering graphomotor skills. Focusing on developing their skills and supporting children in their learning efforts is essential.


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