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Foto: Tina Umlauf23 January 2018

Handwriting Day: scientist demonstrates effective early promotion of writing motor skills

On 23 January is Handwriting Day. More and more children are having problems with handwriting – a preventative approach to promoting motor skills can counteract this. Four- and five-year-olds at two pre-schools in Cologne and Ingolstadt demonstrate just how effortless this is in practice under the guidance of Dr. Marianela Diaz Meyer.

Foto: Tina Umlauf

Every kindergarten child’s love of drawing, scribbling and experimenting with pens, pencils and crayons can be brought to school and transferred to writing if encouraged gently, playfully and continuously. The Director of the Schreibmotorik Institut, Dr. Marianela Diaz Meyer, shows children and educators how this can be done. In this way kindergartens and schools can prevent handwriting problems that are reported by teachers and parents in representative surveys.

“Handwriting is not merely a pretty cultural technique that can be done away with in the age of digitalisation – it’s about genuine educational opportunities. Neuroscientists point out a correlation between motor skills and cognitive development in children,” says Dr. Marianela Diaz Meyer. “The majority of teachers are seeing a correlation between a student’s handwriting and their school performance. It can be surmised that problems with handwriting tend to be more prevalent in children from educationally disadvantaged families. Improved promotion of writing motor skills could therefore contribute to improving the educational opportunities for children such as these.”

Dr. Marianela Diaz Meyer spent a day as a “scribble mentor” for children in Cologne and Ingolstadt. As part of the “scribble mentor” project, company employees can volunteer to show kindergarten pupils how to have fun with pen and paper. The Schreibmotorik Institut provides all information and exercise material. The event is part of the “Handwriting 2020” campaign with which the Schreibmotorik Institut and a large number of interested partners are aiming to improve the conditions and opportunities for learning handwriting both in childcare centres and schools, and with the family at home. All children should be enabled to develop legible and fluid handwriting.

News4teachers, broadcaster Bayerische Rundfunk, the Kölnische Rundschau newspaper and various radio stations report on the optimal promotion of writing motor skills in kindergartens.

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