Sloppy Handwriting Quick Fix

This handwriting trick is an easy one to teach to kids.  It’s a quick lesson in written work that may be just the thing that turns sloppy writing into neat and legible handwriting.  It’s a quick tip in our 30 day series (that is running just a tad behind schedule. Don’t fret though, all quick tips will be here as soon as they are up on the blog.) You can find all of the handwriting tricks here.  

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Soppy writing tips for better handwriting

Sloppy Handwriting Quick Fix 

You’ve probably seen it before.  Written work that is all over the page in terms of letter size and formation, letters that are big and some that are small, and little awareness to lines.  

When a child writes quicly, sometimes letter formation suffers.  For other kids, they tend to write with poor letter formation all the time.  Letters have big gaps between parts of lines and there is very little re-trace.  

When writing letters accurately, there should be a certain amount of re-trace.  Letters that are formed by the pencil tracing back over a line have re-trace.  Letters “a, d, h, m, n, r, and p” are just a few examples with re-trace.

When a child omits that re-trace, they make letters that have a “kickstand”.  There is a big gap between parts of the letters and the size suffers.  Letters are formed haphazardly and illegibly.  It’s sloppy.

To improve neatness in written work, try this easy trick:

Grab a highlighter or yellow marker and go over your child’s written work.  You might use a list of spelling words or a response to a writing prompt.  Scan through the handwriting with your child and fill in the gaps with the yellow marker.  As you go through the letters, show your child how you can find all of those gaps and spaces that should be closed up tight.  

Handwriting tricks for neater letter formation
When letters are formed accurately and with nice re-trace, just a dot is all that is needed to fill in the gap.  Kids can even go through their written work and self-check for gaps in the letters.  Tell them to look for “kickstands” on their letters and to try to form the letters with just a small dot of space.

RELATED READ: Learn more about re-trace in letter formation.

Did this quick tip work for you and your kiddo?  Let us know in the comments below or in the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Facebook group!

Try this trick for neater letter formation and handwriting
MORE Creative Handwriting activities that your child will love: 

Handwriting Spacing Puzzles

Kids who struggle with spacing in written work sometimes write withallthewordstogether.  That’s pretty tough to read, right? When kids struggle with spatial awareness may write words and letters with little regard to spacing. 

A visual perception difficulty prevents kids from writing with adequate spacing on the page.  Other times, kids have trouble copying written work with appropriate spacing.  Still other kids might show difficulty with spatial awareness when writing at a fast speed or when writing in a journal or with free writing.  

These spacing puzzles are a great hands-on activity for helping kids to recognize and become more aware of spacing between words.  It’s a hands on approach to addressing visual perception in handwriting.

Spatial awareness puzzles for helping kids address visual perception skills needed for spacing between letters and words when writing.

Spatial Awareness Puzzles for Helping Kids Space Between Words When Writing

To practice spacing with a hands-on approach, try this spacing puzzle.  You’ll need just a couple of materials for the activity.

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Cardstock cut into squares.  
Cut the cardstock into squares.  Write letters on the cardstock squares.  Spread the letters out on the table.  You can use the letters in several different spatial awareness puzzles.

Spatial awareness puzzles for helping kids address visual perception skills needed for spacing between letters and words when writing.
Construct sentences with the letters, positioning the words in a jumbled manner regarding spacing.  A sentence such as “Can we play ball?” Might present as “Ca nwe playb all?” 

In this puzzle, kids can re-arrange the letters to accurately space between the cardstock letters.  

Use the jumbled sentences to practice spacing on paper by asking the child to copy the sentence with accurate spacing.  They can first re-arrange the letters on the table or just copy with accurate spatial awareness.

Another activity might include writing a jumbled sentence on paper.  Kids can use the letter pieces to construct the sentence appropriately and then write it on paper. 

Spatial awareness puzzles for helping kids address visual perception skills needed for spacing between letters and words when writing.
A third activity involves writing jumbled sentences on paper and asking kids to circle the letters to form words.  They can then copy the sentences using appropriate spacing between letters and words. 

All three of these spacing puzzles require the child to become aware of space between words.  When they slow down to position the words appropriately, they are likely to space between words when writing functionally. 

Let me know if these puzzles work for your child who is working on spatial awareness!

Spatial awareness puzzles for helping kids address visual perception skills needed for spacing between letters and words when writing.

This post is part of our Easy Quick Fixes to Better Handwriting series

You’ll also want to join the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Practice Facebook group for more handwriting tips and tools.

Looking for more activities to help kids work on spacing between words and letters?  Try these:

Handwriting Spacing Tools

Space Martial Spacing Tool

Spatial Awareness in Handwriting