Developing Fine Motor Skills: How to Help Strengthen your Child’s Handwriting Skills

Developing Fine Motor Skills: How to Help Strengthen your Child’s Handwriting Skills

Young girl wearing a yellow cardigan and properly holding a pencil working on homework

As your child grows and learns, you will witness them hit many significant developmental milestones in their early years. One of those significant milestones is the development of their fine motor skills. These skills in particular involve the function of tiny muscles that control the hand, fingers, and thumb. Fine motor skills will help your child learn how to do important tasks independently such as writing, drawing, zipping and buttoning their clothes, and feeding themselves.  


Developing strong handwriting skills at an early age is a critical building block for reading, writing, and communication. Experts often cite fine motor skills as another key factor of kindergarten readiness.


Did you know that handwriting is an important part of completing the Kumon Worksheets?  Early learners enrolled in either the Math or Reading Program will develop proper pencil skills with Kumon’s Level Z.  


Here’s how to help develop your child’s fine motor skills and give them the confidence as they are heading into kindergarten.

  1. Develop Hand Muscles & Dexterity
  2. Read & Follow Directions
  3. Build Stamina
  4. Proper Pencil Pressure




Develop Hand Muscles & Dexterity

Have you ever noticed your child’s grip on the pencil is a bit unstable? Most likely their pencil is too long for their hand. In Kumon’s Level Z, students use a shorter pencil that matches the size of their hand. With a shorter pencil, students have a more stable grip and steady their handwriting. Pencils that have a harder lead, can often lead to hand fatigue in an early learner. Students are encouraged to use a softer lead pencil – 6B or 4B.  

Kumon Level Z straight lines worksheet

Once the tiny muscles that control the student’s hand strengthens, they will have better control of the pencil and be able to draw longer lines. Worksheets go from relatively wide spaces with short lines to progressively longer, thinner lines. This helps children become comfortable with moving their hands in different angles and directions.


Read & Follow Directions 

Kumon’s Level Z is the perfect compliment to the Kumon Math and Reading worksheets. As students are developing proper pencil skills, they are being introduced to pre-reading skills as they are following directions. While students are not expected to read independently at this level, they will begin developing word association skills as they connect the directions to the colorful illustrations on the worksheets.

Kumon Level Z worksheet featuring a teddy bear

Build Stamina 

As students become more confident and independent, they will strengthen their stamina for writing. Students will soon be able to complete ten worksheets with ease and increase their completion time. After advancing through the level, students will be able to draw strong and precise lines without stopping. 


Proper Pencil Pressure

Similar to the math and reading worksheets, the expectations of writing increases incrementally through the Pencil Skills level. Once students become more comfortable with their pencil grip, they will start practicing proper pencil pressure. They will learn the amount of hand strength it takes to draw lines by connecting two pictures. Students will begin practicing the direction of writing by drawing from top to bottom and left to right. 


Kumon’s Level Z will prepare students to write their letters and numbers for the first time with enthusiasm.  


Discover even more study tips and resources that will give your preschoolers a head start!