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the best handwriting apps

Handwriting: There’s An App For That!

In this day and age, there really is an app for everything! So why not use technology for educational purposes, especially for the fine motor skill of handwriting? Believe it or not, handwriting development begins as early as 12 months of age, as your child begins to first scribble with markers or crayons. Further development of handwriting occurs with an emphasis on fine motor control and precision, along with the development of a functional pencil grasp. With advances in technology, there are now fun, interactive methods to promote handwriting skills.  The letters are presented to children with various colors, sounds, animals, and even rewards. Remember, apps are a great supplement to handwriting, but be sure to keep using a multi-sensory approach. Read on for four current Handwriting apps used by your occupational therapist.

 Occupational Therapist Approved Handwriting Apps:the best handwriting apps

Ready to Print

$7.99 google play store

$9.99 iTunes store

A fine motor app created by an OT. The app assists in the development of fine motor skills, including fine motor precision, visual motor tracking skills, visual-perceptual skills and fine motor skills. The app progresses through activities that develop handwriting, including tracing, drawing paths, developing pinch, matching connecting dots, and ultimately writing upper and lower case letters! A great app for building skills that lead to handwriting.

Writing Wizard

Free demo google play store

$4.99 iTunes store

A colorful, customizable letter tracing app! The app provides children with a multisensory approach, using colors and sound effects throughout the tasks. It also provides your child with a reward system for completing each letter. The app itself also allows for extended customization, allowing you to enter words or even names for your child to trace.

Touch and Write

$2.99 iTunes store

Help the monster eat his cupcakes! The tracing app provides your child develop letter formation skills by controlling his fine motor movements. The app asks that your child stay within the boundaries of the guided path, moving the monster with their finger to collect the cupcakes along the correct path. Trace upper and lower case letter in consecutive order, numbers, and words.

 

Handwriting Without Tears: Wet-Dry-Try Suite for Capitals, Numbers, and Lowercase

$6.99 iTunes store

The well-known academic writing protocol became an app. The app follows HWT structure, teaching your child to start his letters at the top and write them fluidly. You can follow the app through the traditional sequence of letters in the HWT program in which letters are taught by similarity in formation, or complete letter learning in sequential order. This is a great app if your child is already learning the program and would like more practice or for a new writer having a little bit of difficulty.

Want to read about more handwriting apps? Click here! Are you concerned about your child’s handwriting? Schedule a consultation with one of our occupational therapists.

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today! 

 

Handwriting Without Tears (HWT): Why it is a Great Approach to Teaching Handwriting

Handwriting is taught to children that are as young as preschool age. Children begin learning how to write the letters in their name and handwriting without tears they will usually start with their first name. Handwriting can be taught in a variety of ways, depending upon your child’s teacher as well as the curriculum within the school. It is important to teach your child in the same manner in comparison as to how he or she is learning in school in order to see the greatest success and to provide the most consistency. Overall, when teaching handwriting, it is crucial to provide your child with plenty of verbal and visual cues in order to help the child memorize the appearance and feel of the letters.

Below are some of the highlights to the Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) program, which makes the handwriting process quite successful and simple to follow for the children, parents and teachers alike:

  • HWT works sequentially, initially teaching all of the upper case letters and then all of the lower case letters. Lastly, all of the cursive letters. this process is more effective compared to jumping around.
  • HWT utilizes simple terminology to describe how the letters are formed (e.g. Big Line, Little Line, Big Curve and Little Curve).
  • HWT focuses on right/left discrimination in order to help the child determine his/her dominant hand (hand which holds pencil/utensils). It also focuses on helping the child to help him/her be aware of the right side of the body versus the left side of the body.
  • HWT emphasizes the quality of your child’s handwriting rather than the quantity (e.g. Writing 5 correct “A’s” versus writing 10 sloppy “A’s”).
  • HWT utilizes several whole-body activities to help the child in retaining the information (e.g. Music and Movement; Imaginary Writing and Letter Sizes and Places).

As you can see above, there are many perks to using the Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) Program at home and in school. If your child’s school does not use this program, you may still gain many great strategies and knowledge from the HWT website. Please feel free to  speak with your child’s occupational therapist if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s handwriting or fine motor skills. Similarly, stay tuned for my next blog on HWT Three Stages of Learning.

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