Handwriting for Kids

Cursive Handwriting or Manuscript Handwriting for Kids?

Struggling Reader

Back-to-School and the debate over whether to teach cursive handwriting or manuscript handwriting style to kids heats up.

Handwriting for kids may seem like a dying art for some.  You may even think with all the texting and computers in use there is no need for such archaic techniques?  We aren’t there yet.  Until everyone has access with our technology, and electronic signatures are the mainstay, our children still need to learn the mechanics of handwriting.

Here are 7 mechanics and strokes needed for cursive and manuscript handwriting success:  Make your own templates for practice, practice, practice by copying these examples.  Enlarge templates to fit writing size paper.

1.  Slant and space:  whether left-handed or right-handed, letters in words need spacing and direction(slant) as well as adequate spacing between words.


Here are examples of practice cards for beginning handwriting skill development.
Make the separations equal in width and slant.

Handwriting for kids Manuscript boxes


A sample slant and space card for manuscript.


Right Handed Slant


A sample slant and space card for cursive.  Right handed.


Handwriting for kids Left Handed Slant
A sample slant and space card for cursive.  Left handed.


2.  Doodles: once the formation of letters is learned, the rate of forming letters in words needs to be increased.  These two doodle shapes will increase this ability.  Replicate them faster and faster.



3.  Lines:  Trace over these lines.

Handwriting for kids Line Tracing


4.  Circles:  Trace over these circles.

Circle Tracing


5.  Ovals: Trace over these ovals.

Handwriting for kids Oval Tracing


6.  Plus Signs: Trace over these shapes.

Plus Tracing


7.  Triangles:  Trace over these shapes.

Handwriting for kids Triangle Tracing

In the end, teaching handwriting should not be a debate of cursive or manuscript, but rather an opportunity to help children develop fine motor skills that will benefit them in many areas of their lives. Cursive handwriting is a dying art, but it is important to keep it alive. The benefits of learning to write in cursive are many, and the ability to write legibly in cursive is a valuable skill. Children who learn to write in manuscript will also have an advantage, as this style of writing is more common today. Teaching both styles of handwriting gives children the best chance for success in life.


Resource:  Guiding Growth in Handwriting published by Zaner-Bloser Company.

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