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Fine Motor Skills

Posted by Eilis on May 7, 2010 at 12:46 PM

I went to a great workshop yesterday on helping preschoolers develop the fine motor skills they will need  for writing.  The presenter is a school occupational therapist. She has a website called Write out of the box and I am not doing a commercial for her but wanted to share some of the ideas in case they can benefit anyone else. She had one activity where two kids pulled on a long sock using both hands for five seconds as they made a particular letter sound. B(pull)-B(pull) etc. It was easy to see after trying it ourselves that it really engages learning. Another tip was to have the kids hold a cotton ball (she called it a pillow) under their pinky and ring finger when picking up small items with a tweezer. It helps the to develop the the pencil grasp in their thumb and first two fingers. She also suggested have a tub full of things like the cards the fall out of magazines for cutting practice. Ask parents to donate their junk mail. Apparently the heavier paper is better for beginners than copy paper. She also suggested breaking crayons into small pieces to encourage kids to hold them with the thumb and two fingers that they will need later. She also suggested golf pencils because the short length encourages correct position. Her main tips involved having kids write on vertical surfaces, like a doubled piece of bulletin board paper or lying on their backs writing on paper attached under a table because it is better for them developmentally than writing on a horizontal surface.

Categories: Fine Motor