Welcome to another Wacky Workshops project – handwriting art fun.
In my post How to Change Your Life With Handwriting, I outlined the reasons handwriting is good for you.
The combined visual, fine motor and cognitive skills required inspires creativity and uses both sides of the brain, so gives it a good workout.
For kids, it’s especially important as it helps them learn faster, read better and solve problems with greater ease.
The problem is computers are so much easier to use and are being highly encouraged in most schools, so the need to write by hand has diminished.
It would be sad to lose the art of handwriting, thought to have been invented in Mesopotamia in 4000BC.
If we give our kids an early love of handwriting it could stay with them, just as a love of reading does.
It is easy to make it fun by turning it into a game.
For young kids, using multi-pens and paint to write is fun as well as writing in sand or on a foggy window.
For older kids, turn them into scribes during adventure walks, so they can document the wonderful things you see. You can also get them to write, by hand, the second part of a story you started.
Turn them into detectives who must report new information they discover in notebooks.
Encouraging journal writing by hand for the older kids (by giving them beautiful journals, or diaries with the little padlock), is another fun way to get them writing.
This week I’m going to share two handwriting activities that are fun for young and old.
ALIEN/MONSTER HANDWRITING NAME GAME
I’ve used this one in just about every class I’ve taught. The students love it and often ask to repeat the project.
- Fold the paper in half
- Write your name just above the fold line – younger kids will need you to do this for them.
- With the paper folded, go over the name you’ve just written, applying pressure so you can see the name’s mirror image on the other side of the fold.
- Trace over the mirror image so it is easily visible.
- This gives you the ‘body’ of the alien/monster.
- Turn the paper around to determine where the monster’s head should be and start filling in the details.
You can make endless monsters/aliens just from one name.
It’s easy, fun and amazingly relaxing turning your written name into artwork. Once you’ve written the name it’s just a matter of doodling around it until you have pretty colours and patterns you are happy with.
It’s a good idea to repeat the name several times on larger pieces of paper to reinforce the writing.
This is also an excellent way to get little ones comfortable with writing their name.
You can write it for them and they can draw around the shape of it and create a work of art.
The calming and cognitive effects of doodling have been documented (it helps you stay focused, grasp new ideas, retain information and expand creativity) but by combining it with the name it is also promoting identity and self-pride – even more so when the finished work is lovingly displayed.
Let’s keep the wonderful art of handwriting alive, and help our kids grow at the same time.
Wishing you lovely writing and a gleeful week, Tamuria.