I gave a mom a few of Handwriting Without Tear’s flip crayons this week. She was amazed at what her son did with them. He picked them up, examined them and proceeded to figure out how best to hold them without a word from me. He automatically achieved the mature grasp that we had been…… Continue reading Can HWT’s Flip Crayons Transform Pencil Grasp in Preschoolers?
The trick? They need to use a short stylus and play apps that require primarily drag-and-drop play. Stop them from only tapping that screen today, because tapping alone will not make much of a difference in strength and grading of force. Why will drag-and-drop play work? The resistance of the stylus tip on the…… Continue reading Want A Stronger Pencil Grasp? Use a Tablet Stylus
As a pediatric OTR, I am often asked to assess and teach proper pencil grasp. Once you start looking, you see a lot of interesting patterns out there. When a child clearly has low muscle tone and/or hypermobile joints, the question of what to do about an atypical pencil grasp used to puzzle me. I…… Continue reading Does An Atypical Pencil Grasp Damage Joints or Support Function In Kids With Hypermobility?
It is back-to-school time here in the U.S. Stores are pushing clothes, backpacks, shoes and school supplies. Time for teachers to set up their classrooms and get excited about a new school year. When I see the amazing variety of crayons on display at Target or Walmart, it reminds me to speak to the families…… Continue reading Which Crayons Promote Mature Writing Grasp?
Here in the U.S., summer is fully underway. Pools, camps, and vacations! Handwriting isn’t really on anyone’s radar. Except mine. Without practice, kids with learning differences, motor control issues, and visual-perceptual concerns can lose a lot of the skills that they worked so hard on all year long in therapy. Here is a fun…… Continue reading Summer Fun Pre-Writing Activities
These pencils help students with the following handwriting issues: They use too much force while writing, and the pencil tips break frequently. They need more tactile information to achieve and keep a mature pencil grasp. They rarely notice that they need to sharpen their pencil to improve legibility. Getting up to sharpen a pencil distracts…… Continue reading Great Mechanical Pencils Can Improve Your Child’s Handwriting Skills
Standardized testing has pushed the demand for handwriting down, down, down into preschool. The great majority of preschool children by the end of the 4’s will not have the physical control of a pencil to write lowercase letters correctly, but some teachers tell me that their administrations require them to teach kids to write their…… Continue reading 10 Easy Ways to Prepare Preschoolers to Write
Low muscle tone can cause a child to struggle with holding crayons and pencils. Those little fingers wrap around them, fold over them and sometimes ball up into a fist to hold a pencil. How a child holds a pencil does not automatically mean that his handwriting will be illegible, but it almost always makes…… Continue reading Why Low Muscle Tone Affects Pencil Grasp
Many preschoolers have difficulty holding a pencil. Some teachers and occupational therapists don’t even suggest pencil use until kindergarten. And the developmental progression is slowing down to reflect the limited amount of time children under 3 are getting to refine their pinch and manipulation skills that create the foundation of pencil grasp. Standardized testing may…… Continue reading Start Teaching Pencil Grasp Early With Fingertip Feeding Games
One of my favorite toys for 2-4 year olds is a perfect summer travel item. Melissa and Doug’s Water Wow series is a ring-bound set of 4 pages with a refillable plastic pen with a brush tip. Fill the base with water, twist the top on, and scribble as the water reveals colors and hidden…… Continue reading Water Wow: Summer Pre-writing Fun on the Road