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Back to School Success: Tips, Handwriting Exercises, and Educational Toys

As the new school term starts to draw near, give the little one in your life the best chances for success by making the transition a little smoother by involving educational playtime. Fostering good handwriting skills and fine motor development is a foundational step for academic success – and building confidence! We offer both stationery supplies and educational toys and games and share some tips on how to apply them to enhance children’s learning experiences.

Easing into the New School Term Using Educational Toys

To get kiddies school-mode ready, they will benefit from a little school simulation. This means applying similar techniques that their creche or schoolteacher would use – like establishing routines, organising study spaces, and managing time effectively. 

Set up a space that will inspire creativity and productivity – somewhere void from too much distraction, is well lit and accessible to the resources around them. Prepare a comfortable seating area (you can adjust the dining/coffee table and add a cushion or a little kiddie’s activity desk.)

To instil goals, create a daily or weekly agenda to accomplish and create a rewards/star chart or give stickers. Fostering a positive mindset is crucial for little confidence boosts and a great way to jumpstart success. 

Get ahead of the return rush by starting the back-to-school supplies preparation earlier. Check the teacher’s requirements list and do an inventory of school bags and kiddies’ items in advance to ensure there are no surprises on the morning back.

Handwriting Exercises for Improved Penmanship 

When it comes to instructing and monitoring exercises, remember to instil some calm, patience and understanding for the little scholar. While these tasks seem very simple, these are large benchmarks in a child’s life and require some time to hone in on the skillset. Give them space to make mistakes and support them to develop their writing ability.

Effective handwriting exercises suitable for different age groups

Materials Needed:

Stacks of colourfully wrapped books surrounded next to a stack of colourful notebooks and containers of coloured pencils, paintbrushes and a red alarm clock.

Letter Formation

Start kiddies with uppercase print letters to build their confidence with the larger shapes.

  • For each letter, have them begin at the top line of the paper.
  • Practice drawing the letter smoothly and consistently.
  • Point out the proportions and shape of each letter.
  • Get them to repeat each letter multiple times to develop muscle memory.

Move on to lowercase letters

  • Using the same process as uppercase letters, have kiddies start at the middle line instead of the top line.
  • Remind them to maintain consistent letter height and shape.

Word Spacing

Start children practising individual words.

  • Write words of varying lengths on a single line.
  • Aim for equal spacing between each word.
  • Use a ruler as a guide if needed.

Progress to writing sentences:

  • Choose a short sentence or phrase.
  • Write the sentence multiple times on a single line.
  • Pay attention to the spacing between words and the overall alignment of the sentence.

Tips and tricks to make writing stick

Remember, regular practice is key to improving kiddies’ handwriting skills. Here are some additional tips during the practice sessions:

  • Get them to warm up their hand and fingers before each practice session by doing simple hand exercises or stretches. Or throw in some clay or playdough for tension-releasing fun.
  • Encourage sitting in a comfortable position with good posture, allowing their arm and hand to move freely.
  • Remind them to use light pressure when writing to avoid strain and fatigue.
  • Schedule regular breaks during practice sessions to prevent hand cramping.
  • Analyse and identify areas where they need a little improvement, and focus on regularly practising those specific letters or words.

By consistently practising, you can assist in improving their enhancing legibility, speed, and writing skills over time!

A pair of child's hands rolling our playdoh with tubes of colourful playdoh and  a dough butterfly cutter shape.

Precision Grip and Fine Motor Skills Development 

Did you know there are two main types of grips? As we are equipped with our opposable thumbs, we can control objects using a precision grip. This evolutionary trait is the reason we can conduct our fine motor skills in handwriting and do higher-level activities. 

To promote precision grip, there are fun activities to enhance this skill. Get kiddies to practice pinching manoeuvres by using tweezers, carefully threading beads, or playing with building blocks.

Educational Games for Skill Enhancement 

When it comes to making a lesson fun, gamification is the way to go! Some educational games and activities to develop handwriting, fine motor skills, and cognitive abilities focus on letter recognition, pattern tracing, puzzle-solving, and hand-eye coordination. 

Try activities like: 

Prep and Perfect Skills Through Play

Easing into the new school term can be fun and educational at the same time with our back-to-school tips and tricks! For more inspiration, explore The Toy Factory Shop’s large collection of educational toys.

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