Kingston started Reception last month (was more traumatic for me than him) and one of his first pieces of homework was copying letters. We started with simple things like O and L but have since moved on to C, Q and the like.
Imagine my glee when I was asked to review the new series of handwriting books from Cambridge University – Pen Pals at Home.
The series is aimed at children aged 3-5 years old and is the leading brand in UK primary schools for handwriting. What’s different is that this is the first time Cambridge University have published books for parents to use at home with their children. This series also comes with a free app, bringing the letters and patterns to life.
The books teach early handwriting skills such as patterns and print letter formation, with added digital watermarking technology which adds a little bit of magic – the children can see and hear the patterns and letters come to life on the page. It also includes practical support for parents throughout.
We were sent ‘Getting Ready for Handwriting’ which I think it more suited to children aged 3 (Kingston is 4) as it is preparing them with mark making as opposed to actually forming letters. I gave to it my sister in law (a head teacher) who said it was very good for smaller children (nursery age) who need to learn to move from scribbles to legible writing.
Our favourite was definitely ‘Forming Letters’ – we spend a few minutes every day learning to write a new letter and once we’ve finished the book, as it’s wipe clean, we will simply start again to supplement what he is learning at school and to help him work on neatness. At only £4.99 each they are an invaluable resource for the last year of nursery and reception and they can be used again or again or handed down to younger siblings/relatives.
Pen Pals at Home: Getting Ready for Handwriting (Pen Pals for Handwriting) – £4.99
Pen Pals at Home: Forming Letters (Pen Pals for Handwriting) – £4.99