What are pre-writing skills?
Early handwriting skills (or pre-writing skills) are fundamental skills children need to develop before they are able to write. These skills contribute to the child’s ability to hold and use a pencil, and the ability to draw, write, copy, and colour.
Why are pre-writing skills important?
Pre-writing skills are essential for the child to be able to develop the ability to hold and move a pencil fluently and effectively and therefore produce legible writing. When these skills are underdeveloped it can lead to frustration and resistance due to the child not being able to produce legible writing or to ‘keep up’ in class due to fatigue.
What are handwriting skills?
Efficient handwriting is developed through a combination of fine motor skills, midline crossing, body awareness, and core strength for postural control. Further, efficient handwriting is dependent upon several underlying abilities including:
- Legibility: ability to read what is produced. This is often influenced by letter/number awareness and formation; writing on the line; leaving appropriate spaces between letters and words, and letters being the correct size.
- Mechanics: where the movement comes from to allow appropriate pencil fluency and support appropriate pencil skill endurance which is influenced by pencil grip, finger strength and control, sensory processing and positioning (e.g. posture at the table).