Exploring Different Handwriting Styles With Children

Handwriting is an important skill for children to develop early on. Practicing handwriting provides many benefits for a child’s growth and learning. Good handwriting helps strengthen reading skills and improves brain function and development. Plus, learning handwriting helps children develop dexterity, patience, and encourage self-expression.

This article will explore the basics of teaching handwriting to children. We’ll look at the different handwriting styles children can learn – from print to cursive to calligraphy. There are also creative ways to make learning handwriting more engaging and fun for kids. We’ll provide tips on handwriting tools and techniques to help improve skills. Learning handwriting properly from a young age lays the foundation for success in school and beyond.

Print Handwriting

Print handwriting refers to writing individual letters that are not connected to each other. Each letter is formed separately using straight or curved strokes. Print handwriting emerged with the printing press and movable type as an efficient way to write the individual letters used in the printing process.

Some key characteristics of print handwriting include:
– Letters are separate and unconnected
– Generally uses straight lines and simple curves
– Easy for young children to learn as a first step
– Faster to write than cursive or other flowing styles

– Often described as neat and legible

Print handwriting establishes letter formation and spacing early on. It serves as an important foundation for developing handwriting skills. Most schools introduce print handwriting first before moving on to cursive styles. Print remains common for informal writing and labeling throughout life.


Cursive Handwriting

Cursive handwriting, also known as longhand, script, or joined-up writing, is a style where the letters in a word are connected together in a flowing format. Cursive writing emerged in the 16th century as a faster alternative to print writing. Some key benefits of teaching cursive handwriting include:

Cursive activates more areas of the brain and strengthens neural connections. Research shows that the continuous strokes of cursive require the two hemispheres of the brain to interact, developing hand-eye coordination, memory, and sequence processing (According to research cited on differentiatedteaching.com).

It can improve reading skills and comprehension. The flowing motions of cursive can help students recognize letters and words more quickly, aiding with fluency and reading comprehension (NEA Today).

It may help students with dyslexia. Connecting letters together may help those with dyslexia distinguish individual letters better than printed handwriting (Differentiated Teaching).

It develops fine motor skills. The fluid motions of cursive writing engage fine motor muscles and dexterity.

It can lead to faster writing. With practice, cursive typically allows for faster writing than printing each individual letter.

Cursive writing takes practice and repetition to master. But the benefits for brain development, reading skills, and writing fluency make it a valuable skill for students to learn.


Overview of calligraphy: Calligraphy is the art of beautiful handwriting. It is a visually expressive art form learned through practice and repetition. Some benefits of teaching calligraphy to children include improving their focus, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills. Learning calligraphy can help children relax while being creative and expressive. It also allows them to slow down, concentrate, and find mindfulness in creating flowing letters and words. According to this article, calligraphy engages different parts of the brain simultaneously. As children learn the structured strokes and shapes required, they build hand-eye coordination. The fluid motion of calligraphy is said to be almost meditative for children and adults alike.

Mixed Handwriting Styles

Combining print, cursive, and calligraphy styles can help make handwriting more dynamic and fun for children. Mixing different styles adds visual interest to writing and allows children to express their individuality. According to this Pinterest post, blending simple print letters with cursive letters and calligraphy flourishes helps create beautiful, personalized handwriting.

When teaching mixed handwriting, start by having children write in their regular print style. Then demonstrate how to add cursive letters or calligraphy embellishments to individual letters like capital first letters of names. Allow them to experiment with mixing and matching styles in a creative way. Praise their efforts at combining styles and developing their own unique handwriting. Make it clear there is no right or wrong way to mix handwriting as long as their writing remains legible.

Introducing mixed handwriting provides an opportunity to expand children’s skills in a fun way. It allows for differentiation and gives children ownership over developing their personal handwriting style. Blending print, cursive and calligraphy can make the act of handwriting more rewarding and enjoyable for young writers.

International Handwriting Styles

Handwriting varies greatly around the world due to differences in languages, alphabets, writing direction, and writing tools. Some examples of international handwriting styles include:

Arabic writing flows from right to left and has a distinct cursive style. Letters often connect within words and a dotting system helps distinguish otherwise similar looking letters. Arabic handwriting can appear highly stylized and artistic with sweeping long strokes and flourishing loops and accents (Examples of Handwriting Styles).

Chinese characters are logograms where each symbol represents a word or part of a word. Chinese writing flows vertically in columns from top to bottom and individual characters are made with precise strokes and radicals. Chinese calligraphy is considered an art form that takes years to master (Regional handwriting variation).

The Korean Hangul alphabet has letters arranged in syllabic blocks that form square shapes. Letters have flowing oval forms and there is emphasis on proper stroke order when writing. Cursive styles connect letters within syllabic blocks (35 Handwriting Styles We Wish We Had).

In Japanese, Kanji logograms derived from Chinese are mixed with syllabic Hiragana and Katakana scripts. Japanese can be written top to bottom or left to right, with varying stroke styles. Formal styles appear very structured while quicker handwriting can be flowing and cursive.

Making It Fun

Handwriting practice doesn’t have to be a chore. There are many fun games and activities you can do with children to help them improve their penmanship skills. Here are some ideas:

Have them write with unusual tools like glow sticks in a tray of flour or cinnamon sticks in sugar (https://www.theottoolbox.com/irresistible-handwriting-activities-for/). The novelty of writing with something other than a pencil makes it exciting.

Set up handwriting stations around the room or outdoors where kids can practice writing letters, words, or sentences using chalk, sand trays, whiteboards, or shaving cream. Getting up and moving around keeps them engaged.

Turn handwriting into a game by setting a timer and having them write as many letters or words as they can before time runs out. They’ll be so focused on beating the clock they won’t even realize they’re practicing.

Use dotted line paper or create letter shapes with Wiki Stix or pipe cleaners that kids can trace over. Following a guide helps them properly form each letter.

Make letter practice into an art project by having kids decorate letters printed on paper with crayons, stickers, or glitter glue. They’ll be proud to show off their creations.

Handwriting doesn’t have to be drudgery. A little creativity goes a long way in making it fun for kids!

Handwriting Tools

Having the right tools can make practicing and improving handwriting skills more engaging and effective for kids. Some key supplies to have on hand include (Source):

  • Pencils – Consider thicker pencils which are easier for little hands to grip. Mechanical pencils allow consistent point sharpness.
  • Pens – Felt tip and gel pens can make writing more fun with their bright colors.
  • Paper – Try paper with extra lines or shapes for added guidance.
  • Grips – Pencil toppers provide an ergonomic shape for small fingers.
  • Slates – Reusable writing surfaces allow practice without wasting paper.
  • Stamps & Stencils – These tools help kids practice letter shapes and sizing.

It’s also beneficial to offer a variety of writing implements to hold their interest. Having the right supplies tailored to your child’s needs makes handwriting practice more engaging and successful (Source). With creativity and consistency, you can improve their penmanship skills.

Improving Handwriting

There are several effective tips to help improve children’s handwriting skills. First, make sure they are holding the pencil correctly using the tripod grip, allowing the middle finger to support the pencil (How to Improve Handwriting: 10 Effective Tips for Parents, 2024). Second, focus on proper letter formation by breaking letters down into basic strokes. Trace letter outlines and practice drawing straight lines, curves, circles and angles. Worksheets and apps can provide guided practice (5 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Handwriting, Scholastic).

Next, pay attention to consistency. Guide children to write letters the same way each time in terms of shape, size and slant. Provide lined paper as a size guide. Setting a timer can motivate kids to write neatly within a time limit. Finally, make practice fun by incorporating engaging apps, multisensory techniques like writing letters with clay, and finding creative ways to trace letters like using shaving cream (5 Tips to Improve Your Child’s Handwriting, Reading Eggs, 2014). With regular, targeted practice, children can master legible handwriting.


Handwriting is an important skill for children to develop, but it can also be a fun and creative outlet. Through exploring different handwriting styles, kids can find what feels most natural to them while also experimenting and expressing their individuality. The key is providing the right tools and guidance to allow your child to organically develop their preferred handwriting style. With an encouraging environment and a bit of practice, their penmanship skills will flourish.

In summary, there are many handwriting styles to try with kids, from classic print and cursive to decorative calligraphy and mixed handwriting. Exposing children to a variety of written scripts allows them to think outside the box and develop a style that suits them best. International handwriting styles are also fascinating to explore. The most important thing is to make the process enjoyable through games, activities, and positive reinforcement. With the right approach, handwriting can be an exciting journey of self-discovery and creativity for your child.

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