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Handwriting isn’t just learning the alphabet – fine motor skills, hand eye co-ordination and an interest in putting pen to paper are essential as your child develops their handwriting skills. The final goal is for handwriting to become an automatic skill, so your child can concentrate on what, and not how, they are writing.


How handwriting develops by age


All children learn to write at a slightly different pace, but as a general guide research suggests that handwriting skills develop in these stages:


Child's age

Handwriting level

1 year

Can scribble on paper

2 years

Can make horizontal, circular and vertical marks on paper

3 years

Can copy horizontal, circular and vertical lines

4-5 years (Reception)

Can use a pencil and hold it effectively to form recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed

5-6 years (Year 1)

Can form lower case and capital letters
Can form digits 0 to 9

6-7 years (Year 2)

Can use the strokes needed to join letters
Can write capital letters, lower case letters and digits that are all the correct size in relation to each other

7-9 years (Years 3 and 4)

Can use the strokes needed to join letters
Increasing the legibility, consistency and quality of their handwriting

9 to 11 years (Years 5 and 6)

Can write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed

The dynamic tripod grasp: handwriting advice from the National Handwriting Association

Learn how to establish the ideal hand position for handwriting with TheSchoolRun's video about the dynamic tripod grasp, featuring advice from the National H...

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