Christmas stocking filler ideas - where do you start?
There are many ways that Father Christmas can help the reluctant and not so reluctant writer.
Many people think that handwriting it’s all about putting pen to paper. Which of course it is. But, handwriting is not only about having good writing skills. Children need to be able to use and manipulate objects in their hands. They need to be able to perceive a letter shape with accuracy. And they need to be able to draw lines with precision. Plus have organisational skills. Wow, there is a lot to it. As adults, we can often forget how complicated learning to write is.
Here are 5 Christmas stocking filler ideas for you:
1. Post-It Notes
For some children, writing can send them into a little mini panic. What they’re actually doing is that they’re looking at the size of the paper that they are being asked to write on. Immediately they’ve made the assumption that they are going to have to fill the whole page.
To overcome this barrier Post-it notes are a great idea. The size of the paper limits the amount of space. Thus reducing the word count. This is reassuring for your child because they know no extra writing requests can happen. You could always them to write on another post-it note but we won’t let them know that for now.
The joy of post-it notes is that they come in all different shapes sizes and colours.
Writing is a two-handed activity. The dominant hand holds the pen or pencil for the physical act of writing. The other hand holds the paper. This is a skill called bilateral coordination. It is also a skill developed whilst playing Lego. I have yet to come across a child who doesn’t enjoy Lego.
An alternative to Lego would be the Rubik’s cube which is making a great comeback in schools these days. The smaller the better! These would be my second stocking filler ideas. A great stealth tactic to improve handwriting.
3. Puzzle games
My third suggestion to you is puzzle games. Puzzle games help develop visual perceptual skills. These skills help your child to identify if a letter is i or an l. Or an ‘h’ to an ‘n’.
Some great puzzle choices are ‘Spot the difference’ and ‘Maze puzzles’.
4. Pencil case
For some children, they can find organisational skills tricky. These children are the ones who are often losing their pens or pencils. They take longer than others to start their work. A great tip is to get a new pencil case. Everyone loves a new pencil case.
I would look for either a transparent case so that your child can see the pen or pencil that they’re looking for.
Or I would look for pencil cases that have compartments. Your child can put their pen or pencil in a different place from where they would put their rubber or ruler.
Either can help them be ready to start their work with ease and on time.
My last suggestion to you is to look at buying a ruler. Rulers these days have changed a great deal from when I was at school. What they do is help a child draw a measurement with accuracy. Yet they also develop eye-hand coordination skills.
If your child is a left-handed writer make sure that you look out for a left-handed ruler. What you will see is that the numbers go in a different direction. Zero is on the right and the numbers increase going in the leftwards direction. This will help them draw a measurement with accuracy.
Another ruler that I particularly like is by Smiggle. It is not a flat ruler, it is angled which makes it easier to be able to draw lines.
As you can see from the suggestions above we haven’t included a single pen or pencil.
Any well-meaning gift by Father Christmas that looks like a writing instrument is a no go. We need to be as savvy as the kids who receive these gifts. They may have great diversional tactics to avoid handwriting. Yet we have the knowledge of how to help them overcome this temporary reluctance. We wish you and your family a lovely Christmas. We’re hoping that Father Christmas brings you everything you would like as well.
P.S. Help with Handwriting has no affiliation with any of the stores linked on this page.