Say what?! Handwriting preparation begins at the core, not the hands. Yes the hand and fingers are crucial, and building strong fine motor skills is essential. But before we can have good quality fine motor movements, we need to have a strong solid core.
Did you know that the core is not just having strong tummy muscles? Core strength includes your back, your shoulders, and your hips. A child needs to be able to sit in a chair at a table with good posture to effectively write. This posture comes from a solid structure of hips, spine, and shoulders. Leaning on the table or chair arms, resting the head on the table, and slouching in the chair all make it incredibly difficult to achieve fluid, neat handwriting. The body is having to work so hard to keep the child from falling off the chair, that little energy or strength is left for moving the fingers in a smooth manner.
So what can we do about this? First we can encourage our children to climb, run, jump, crawl, and engage in physical activity every single day. However you can fit this into your daily routine, whether it be swimming, climbing trees outside, or building forts inside and creating obstacles to crawl through. Kids need to be active and engaging their big muscles to prepare for using their small muscles. Likewise, you will see your Handwriting Solutions tutor doing a quick 5-minute gross motor warm-up at the beginning of every session, where the child will not only get their wiggles out, but also build those core muscles needed for sitting and writing.
There are tons of resources online if you need ideas for how to strengthen your child's body for handwriting success! Be on the lookout for a future Blog Post from Handwriting Solutions for more ideas. As always, reach out to email@example.com with questions!