My 5 year old is struggling a bit with his handwriting. He gets OT for fine motor work, and it's always been my goal to make handwriting practice fun and practical. He's still young, so I like to go slowly, with no pressure. I've shared how my older son practices his handwriting through writing cards. With my 5 year old I have been working with him on things like preschool fine motor development through journaling and Zentangle drawing.
Whenever he wants something written down he tries to convince me to do it. I have to find ways to help him with handwriting practice without making it seem like a chore. I had some success with the pop up book we made and this past weekend I found out a tidbit of info that I decided to use to my advantage.
In case you don't follow me on Facebook (And you should! Why don't you! Correct that right now!) I watched the movie Frozen with the boys over spring break. I may also have let New Kid watch it a few extra times during the week. I know. I am weak, weak weak. Long time readers (group hug!) will remember that my weakness is one of the reasons I dispensed with our TV. When we want to watch something I have to use the laptop or our tiny portable DVD player, both of which have limited appeal.
Anyway... New Kid really loved Frozen and has been dancing and singing the songs ever since. (I'm quite enjoying that side effect, actually.) I found out this weekend via the P is for Preschooler newsletter that kids can write to a Disney character and Disney will send a return postcard. I knew immediately that my 5 year old would love to write a letter to Olaf. (He's the snowman, in case you are one of the 15 people who has yet to see the movie.)
New Kid is still a pre-reader and I do not want to add to handwriting practice the extra pressure of spelling or figuring out how to get the words down, so I asked him what he wanted to say and I modeled it for him on a separate piece of paper. He then copied it out. He drew a little snowman at the bottom and signed the letter.
As you can see from the top photo, his handwriting is still under development. My goal is to always make writing seem fun. I don't pressure him at all because I know, with his feisty personality, it will backfire very quickly! I don't see any point, at this level, to correct his handwriting, either. I want him to be proud of his creation, so he will want to do more!
My absolute favorite resource for playful writing ideas for kids of all ages is The Write Start: A Guide to Nurturing Writing at Every Stage, from Scribbling to Forming Letters and Writing Stories (affiliate link). If you support your child's writing development at home, this is a must for your bookshelf.
To send your letter to Disney and get a standard postcard in return, address the envelope to:
Walt Disney World Communications
P.O. Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040