I was recently sent two new books from Cambridge University Press to try out with the children. The Penpals at Home series is aimed at children aged 3-5 years old. Penpals books are used in schools to teach handwriting in children, and this is the first time that the books have been published for parents to use with their children at home. The books teach early handwriting skills such as patterns and print letter formation.
Mia tried out Penpals at Home - Getting Ready for Handwriting. She's 3 1/2 and I've not really done any work on writing with her so I was quite impressed with how quickly she picked it up. She wasn't interested in holding the pen correctly so we still need to work on that, but she loved tracing the shapes with a suitable dry erase pen (not included) and then rubbing it out afterwards. She worked through the book once straightaway and then was asking for it again later.
Each page uses digital watermarking technology to make the patterns and letters on the page come to life through a free app which you can download to your phone.
Harry is 5 and in Year 1 at school. I tried him with Penpals at Home - Forming Letters. Although he is writing with some confidence, he still often writes letters backwards and he also tends to write his letters rather large, so this book was just right for him.
Harry really enjoyed working on this book. I found that the app worked really well for this book as it was at a higher level, and it demonstrated how to form the letters for him. Harry worked through the book with the app at his side to remind him how to write them. So although the books work fine without the app, it's a nice addition to have.
I'd definitely recommend these books if you are wanting to work on handwriting with your child at home.
I received these books to review.