Helping To Improve Children’s Fine Motor and Handwriting Skills
Parents often report to Occupational Therapists that their children have difficulty grasping a pencil or crayon correctly. As an Occupational Therapist evaluating pre writing strokes, printing, and cursive writing, I have found that our children often exhibit awkward grasps. These various grasps, or “immature grasps,” are not as efficient as the traditional tripod grasp. Often the child’s hand becomes fatigued and they will switch from using one hand to the other. Occupational Therapists, and occupational therapy, use a variety of ways to encourage children to use a more efficient tripod grasp.
For example, using a crayon broken in half or “flip crayon” from the “Handwriting Without Tears” program allows the child less space on the crayon to add the fourth finger. Occupational Therapists also provide fine motor coordination activities which help to strengthen the intrinsic hand muscles which are used in handwriting.
The websites below provide helpful ways for children to improve fine motor and handwriting skills.
WEBSITES OF INTEREST FOR FINE MOTOR AND WRITING PRACTICE
- www.Abcteach.com – Free worksheet/word wall
- www.Do2learn.com – Free activities, songs, games, & organizational sheets
- www.Priorywoods.middlesbrough.sch.uk/index.htm-good – Mouse and computer games and switch activities
- www.Starfall.com – Free site/ pre-reading to 2nd grade level activities
- www.Crayola.com – Tracing pages, activities
- www.Handwritingforkids.com – Various levels and activities for printing and cursive writing
- www.Kidzone.ws – Crafts, coloring pages to print, worksheets
- www.Eduplace.com – Great resources site, activities, links, and more
- http://www.readinga-z.com – Free & small subscription fee
- http://www.jacksonpollock.org/ – For A Good Mouse practice site
The sites in BOLD have good downloadable paper and activities to try!
Enjoy! – Jan