Friday, 12 December 2014

Stabilo and National Handwriting Association – Make Writing Easier

When Abby was a baby, we noticed that she would always use her left hand first to reach for things. There is nothing wrong with being a left hander, but out of my own habit and whatever silly reason I had at that time, I have subconsciously taught her to use her right hand as the dominant hand.

Some might not think that this is an issue, in fact, there are people who actually encourage this. But soon we noticed that Abby is holding her pencil with her right hand in an awkward angle, which added unnecessary stress to her wrist and fingers. We’ve tried to correct her but she just couldn’t change it, and I have been feeling guilty ever since, wishing that I’ve never manipulated her when she was young.

A while ago, Stabilo contacted bloggers with a new campaign they were working on, asking us to send in our children’s handwriting issues, and they would forward it to the National Handwriting Association to see if they can help us. This is their response:

“For children, hand dominance should be established by the age of five. Most children will show definite preference and this should be respected where possible. However, 6 is most definitely not too late to revert to her naturally chosen side and you may find that she is instantly more comfortable doing this. However, many children who hold the pencil in a strange grasp do so for reasons other than confused dominance so do try and talk to the teachers about this issue too.”

Knowing that I’m bordering late but not too late, I tried asking Abby whether she felt better if she holds her pencil with her left hand. She told me that she felt more at ease with her right hand, so either I’m too late, or like what National Handwriting Association said, she’s holding her pencil is an odd way because of some other reason.

 Apart from connecting us with National Handwriting Association, Stabilo has also kindly sent us their Writing Guide, as well as their

EASYoriginal Fountain Pen for Left handers and Right handers
Woody 3-in-1 Crayons
Trio Scribbi Spring Loaded Fibre Pens (8 pack)

for Abby, which are great for practising the correct way of holding pens.

The EASYoriginal Fountain Pen (for Left or Right handers) comes with a refill and a Fountain Pen eraser. The blue pen in the image is for Right handers, and the pink for left handers. The area where you hold the pen is silicon/ rubber-like (non-slip, easy to grip), and has a dent for your fingers, so they can rest comfortably on the correct area. The end of the pen curves slightly, making it rest nicely on hand. This is definitely great for Abby to practise holding pens correctly.

I have used many different pens in my life, some with non-slip paddings as well, and the EASYoriginal is definitely one of the most comfortable to hold pen I’ve used. I don’t normally like chunky pens with chunky tips, but it’s effortless to write with the EASYoriginal. The tip is more solid than normal ball points, which means that you need to put in less pressure on the pen to write. The eraser is definitely a bonus, and it erases the ink like magic. Schools encourage students not to erase their work so that the teachers can see how the students solve their problem/ correct their mistakes, but it’s great for any other occasions (especially for adults. Yes I’m tempted to keep the pen for myself!) where tidiness is priority and pencils are not an option.

We have a lot of good crayons, but these 3 in 1 ones have definitely caught our attention, because they can also be used as pencils by sharpening them using the pencil sharpener that came with the pack, or water colour by brushing water over the sketch! The crayons are chunky, so easy for children to hold, and the wax crayon is soft enough for colours to come out easily.

The triangular shaped markers – Trio Scribbi are perfect for young children to use as well. They are chunky, and the triangular shape helps children with holding the pens correctly while stopping them from rolling around too. The spring loaded tips means them children can press the pen down really hard (like children always do) without squashing the tip, and the ink is washable.

Clay is showing signs of being a left hander as well, and this time we are going to leave it to him to decide which hand he prefers to use. If he is a left hander, at least we know where we can find the correct stationery for him.

Do visit Stabilo’s website for more information on their products, as well as some great handwriting tips for both left and right handers!