A child’s development of fine, visual, and gross motor skills all impacts their development of handwriting. Children cannot be expected to write letters or words when they have yet to master basic lines and curves. Here is a chart of pre-writing lines that must be mastered before we begin actual letter writing. This chart demonstrates the progression of a child's motor development, visual perception, coordination, and dexterity in those toddler and early childhood years.
Even a child's gross motor development impacts their handwriting. They should be able to sustain an upright seated position in a chair without slouching or leaning on the table. They also need the upper body and core strength to stabilize the shoulder, elbow, and wrist so that the fingers can move in a coordinated pattern. To develop these gross motor skills, children need to be exposed to tons of active movement and gross motor play such as crawling and climbing.
Meeting a child where they are at developmentally is a key to handwriting success. Pushing too soon will lead to frustration and poor habits. On the flip side, children must be taught be handwriting explicitly and systematically at their developmental level. Let us know if you would like a handwriting assessment which includes observation of your child's overall development and skills for writing!