Handwriting milestones 9-10 years

Handwriting for children of this age takes on a new level of excitement as they progress from printing to the developmental step of cursive script. For many students this is also the age of obtaining a ‘pen licence’.

Handwriting goals

There is one significant developmental goal for children of this age which is for children to develop sufficiently legible (able to read it) and fluent handwriting so that they are able to focus on the message form and the purpose of the writing.

Children of this age are able to use upper case and lower case letters. All letter formations should be formed correctly.

The mechanics of handwriting

Children of this age are focusing on the mechanics of handwriting. Simply this is consolidating the starting and finishing points of letters and the directional movement of the hand. Left handers may have some slight difficulties while learning to join letters as they push their hand from left to right rather than pulling however this is usually short lived and handwriting of left handers is just as legible as right handed people.

At this age children should be using correct size, shape and slope. They should also have balanced proportions within the letters themselves. This proportioning will depend on the script being taught to your child.


Repetition is the key to success with handwriting. Children need opportunities to reinforce skills being taught. Slope can be difficult to master when learning cursive and your child may benefit from a slope card or lightly drawing lines on their page for them.


This article was written by Michelle Barrington for Kidspot, New Zealand’s leading education resource for parents. Michelle is a teacher and mother of a toddler who blogs at Gee, You’re Brave.

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