First step, build those hand muscles! The muscle memory it takes to properly hold a pencil, leading to that picturesque handwriting we desire our littles to have, takes work. Occupational therapists suggest various isolated fine motor skill exercises that are fun and don’t require a pencil at all. Simple things like rolling play doh into small rolls between their fingers and thumb, crumpling up tiny pieces of paper with their fingers, squeezing lemons, or walking a ball up or down their legs using just their fingers are all ways to help build the muscle strength and stamina needed for writing.
Next, start using the terminology. (And by terminology, I mean the basic words you already use everyday!) Whether you are walking, riding a bike, driving in the car, or playing with trains, discuss the types of lines you see that are also a part of writing letters. Straight lines, slanted lines, and curved lines make up the world around us and the letters in the words we read. Use the world your child is constantly curious about to hone in on the words that they will hear once they are in the stage of actually writing letters.
Make it fun! Use painters tape on the floor to form letters. Have kids walk the letters with their hands, drive Hotwheels cars over them, have Barbie walk them like a runway. Whatever piques your child’s interest, hone into that and just familiarize them with the various lines that make up the letters! “Look Norah, the “N” at the beginning of your name has two straight lines and one slanted line. I bet your train can drive on the N!”
Don’t force anything, just be intentional when a teachable moment arises! These simple tasks are giving your kids all the tools they need to become confident and capable writers. (Added bonus, they are fun and don’t really require you to “teach” them anything new!) By providing them with the foundation they need, you can quiet the crazy that can creep into your mind. You are enough and you are doing enough! Write that down, in your best handwriting of course.