In my first post about how you can make handwriting easier, I shared with you some simple activities to strengthen up those cute little fingers so a child will be able to successfully approach writing. Before I move on to explain forming letters with ease, there is one more activity I highly recommend for little hands....
In addition to playdough, scissor cutting, and beading, it is also a great idea to make sure kids spend time with lots of toys and manipulatives that require the pincher grasp (thumb and 1-2 fingers together) and finger strength to play with. This is a phenomenal activity because it encourages a child to hold items the way he/she should hold a pencil and it strengthens the exact muscles needed to do so.
Anytime you can disguise learning activities through play, you can easily gain enthusiasm and cooperation from the child. This is how we approach teaching in general in our preschool....but that is a whole other post for another time.
To get kids to practice their pincher grasp happily (and without even realizing they are working on handwriting skills), all you need to do is have time for them to play with toys like these:
All of these toys are super bright, colorful, and fun. They all require kids to use those pencil-holding muscles along with some strength. Kids love building and creating, and teachers and parents can use these as a perfect disguise for handwriting preparation.
Since these toys are small, they make great table or tray activities. They can be perfect for transition and waiting times. In the classroom, we like to use them on trays as a choice activity in between required group projects. These are items are self-directed, open-ended, and children can simply take them apart and build another structure if they finish making a creation before the allotted wait or transition time is over.
At home, they can be a great solution to keep kids occupied and nearby as mom is cooking dinner, folding laundry, answering emails, etc. It's win-win as kids are happy, mom gets a moment, and little ones are building up important skills for handwriting.
Learning is successfully disguised once again.
Be sure to sign up for my emails as we continue in this series next time and begin to learn how to make forming letters while keeping it easy and fun! So glad you can join us! xoxo
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