National Handwriting Day!

National Handwriting Day

is celebrated on January 23, 2015. This day was chosen because it is John Hancock’s Birthday. He was the first person to provide his signature on the Declaration of Independence.

Handwriting is important, as finger movements activate large regions of the brain involved in thinking, memory, and language. The act of physically gripping a pen or pencil and practicing the swirls, curls and connections of cursive handwriting activates parts of the brain that leads to increased language fluency. Writing is, by nature, an opportunity for creativity and personal expression. When writing is incorporated in learning and assessment, there is increased opportunity to produce the ideal situation for active, attentive learning because students value creative problem solving and creative production.

Posture and Places to Practice
There are many FUN ways to practice handwriting, other than sitting at the table with your feet flat on the floor and body up tall!

• In the bathtub – use shaving cream or washable crayons
• In the car – keep clipboards and pencils so kids can write down vehicles, buildings and
people they may see on their ride
• In the grocery store – have a child make a grocery list and check off items while
shopping
• On the wall – tape a large piece of paper or use an easel
• On the move – have a child carry a small notebook in their pocket or backpack to write
down ideas, reminders or draw pictures
• At the breakfast table – have children draw, color or write while you are preparing their
meal
• While watching TV – during commercials kids can write down or draw pictures about
what is going on in the show they are watching
• Next to a computer – it’s always nice to have a notebook next to the computer to take
additional notes
• Lying on your belly – coloring or drawing in this position can be so much fun! Use a slant
board or 3” ring binder to provide a smooth surface

Activities to Practice Handwriting
• Write a letter to a friend, family, the President, a soldier, or someone you admire
• Decorate a cake and have everyone sign their name with frosting
• Write a poem
• Check out books on handwriting at the local library
• Create an autograph book and have people sign it
• Start a journal or diary
• Give the gift of a pen as appreciation
• Create a treasure hunt
• Practice your own signature

Games that Promote Fine Motor Skills
• Pick Up Sticks
• Jenga
• Connect 4
• Yo-yo’s
• Perfection
• Trouble
• Legos, Building Blocks, Erector Sets
• Lite Brite
• Operation/Bed Bugs
• Topple
• Chess/Checkers

Top 10 Fine Motor Tools Under $1
• Clothes Pins
• Stickers
• Playdough
• Shoelaces
• Beads
• Push Pins
• Wikki Stix
• Tweezers
• Hole Punch
• Scissors

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