Recent national newspaper reports have stated that children are starting school without the hand strength to use a pencil due to an increasing use of technology from a young age. This follows reports over the last few years that children of senior school age are struggling with poor handwriting, which has a knock-on effect on their exam results due to illegibility. According to a report by the Department for Education, wWriting is the subject with the worst performance compared with reading, maths and science at Key Stages 1 and 2.
The right approach from the toddler years can help to prevent these challenges according to international pen manufacturer Stabilo, “Encouraging children to get creative from a young age, drawing, colouring, playing with clay, cutting and sticking, can really help them to develop the fine muscles in their fingers,” says marketing manager Vanya Hunter. “There are even fun exercises children can do on paper to help them learn the correct way to grip a pencil and the different shapes and movements they will need when learning to write.”
The company offers free, fun downloadable worksheets on its website to help parents to encourage their children when it comes to developing these skills. These also include some tips that they can use to help make writing a little more fun for youngsters, including not being too prescriptive when it comes to writing, with a focus on encouraging creativity; using a variety of colours in their writing to make it more visually stimulating; and the incorporation of drawings and pictures into their work to exercise their imaginations as well as their fingers.
It also specialises in ergonomically pens and pencils that are specifically designed to help children achieve the correct tripod grip and make handwriting more comfortable. These special features – such as non- slip grip zones and pens – are specifically engineered for left and right-handers to make learning to write a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. Not to mention the array of bright colours, and funky designs that the pens and pencils are available in!
To find out more, visit Stabilo.