Reluctant writers

Children can often become reluctant to write, or have a poor writing speed, because they do not have the hand strength and finger dexterity to hold the writing tool correctly. This makes writing difficult, tiring and painful.

Games and activities can improve hand and finger strength.

Poor visual and motor memory skills can make it difficult to remember how to form the letters. Again, games and activities can help with this.

Tips on encouraging reluctant writers

This will take time, patience and encouragement, each improvement, no matter how small, needs to be recognised and positively praised.

Remember as a child’s skills develop so does their confidence to try, and their self-esteem, as they succeed where once they felt they failed.

Tips on setting up playtime drawing / handwriting sessions

How to Organise a Playtime Drawing/Writing Session

  1. When ready, try timed drawing or writing activities after the child has had a good run around or other physical activity (but not when they are tired).
  2. Set up a good writing environment where they are sitting comfortably and without distraction, such as having the TV on.
  3. Correct poor posture and keep the activity short - up to 5 minutes initially. However, one minute of happy drawing/writing is better than no minutes.
  4. After the drawing/writing play a non-drawing activity or game with the child. Make this break between 3 and 5 minutes long, ensuring the child knows when it will end (use a timer so they can see when they will need to stop).
  5. Return to the original drawing/writing activity for up to another 5 minutes.
  6. End the sessions with a fun activity or treat.

Tips on Running the Session

It can be surprising how frustrating and upsetting being asked to copy from the board can be for many children. So, anything that can help to alleviate these emotions and difficulties has got to be worth a try!