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pre- handwriting

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by greenmacca70, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. Can anyone help. I need some help in finding information I can give a mother about pre handwriting skills (could do with learning a bit myself as well). She is worried about his writing as it is very large and he does not seem to have much contol. The child is nursery aged.
    Has anyone got any clear information about what he needs to do/ things to help before doing writing?
    I am sure I have seen links before, but after searching a few times have not found any.
    Many thanks.
  2. Hiya, There will be lots of great advice flooding your waytonight but until then ..... Its not a cause for concern that this little boy's writing is big. From birth he has had far more experience moving his limbs about in big movements. Initially he had little control and, as he has grown , has learnt to control the movements so that he could crawl, walk, jump etc. Now he is increasingly being asked to control his fingers and control pens pencils and all other manner of mark-making equipment. So he needs lots and lots of opportunity to use and develop fine motor skills. Not tracing over letter shapes or such like but things like pounding, rolling, twisting, cutting pressing pinching dough , plasticine wet newspaper or similar malleable materials. Use of tweezers to pick up toys, beads and any kind of small items (you can get plastic tweezers dirt cheap on ebay). use made or ph. copied dot to dot pictures (without the numbers) for him to ***** the dots with a cocktail stick - do it over a carpet tile to support the ******. Large sheets of paper on the floor so he can lie on his tummy while he's drawing. Large movements are not a no no encourage mum to concentrate on down and bouce back up movements and anticlockwise moves when he's drawing as well as all the fine motor stuff. Ripping up old newspapers , cereal packets is great and free! Outside use of ribbons, scarves etc to support future correct letter formation. Hope this helps for now Eve

  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Fine Motor Skills
    Things to remember:
    Upright working surfaces promote fine motor skills. Examples of these are: vertical
    chalkboards; easels for painting; flannel boards; lite bright; magnet boards (or
    fridge); windows and mirrors; white boards, etc. Children can also make sticker
    pictures; do rubber ink-stamping; use reuseable stickers to make pictures; complete
    puzzles with thick knobs; use magna-doodle and etch-a-sketch as well. The benefits
    for these include: having the child's wrist positioned to develop good thumb
    movements; they help develop good fine motor muscles; the child is using the arm
    and shoulder muscles.
    Fine Motor Activities
    Moulding and rolling play dough into balls - using the palms of the
    hands facing each other and with fingers curled slightly towards the palm.
    Rolling play dough into tiny balls (peas) using only the finger tips.
    Using pegs or toothpicks to make designs in play dough.
    Cutting play dough with a plastic knife or with a pizza wheel by holding
    the implement in a diagonal volar grasp.
    Tearing newspaper into strips and then crumpling them into balls. Use
    to stuff scarecrow or other art creation.
    Scrunching up 1 sheet of newspaper in one hand. This is a super
    strength builder.
    Using a plant sprayer to spray plants, (indoors, outdoors) to spray snow
    (mix food colouring with water so that the snow can be painted), or melt
    "monsters". (Draw monster pictures with markers and the colours will run
    when sprayed.)
    Picking up objects using large tweezers such as those found in the
    "Bedbugs" game. This can be adapted by picking up Cheerios, small cubes,
    small marshmallows, pennies, etc., in counting games.
    Shaking dice by cupping the hands together, forming an empty air space
    between the palms.
    Using small-sized screwdrivers like those found in an erector set.
    Lacing and sewing activities such as stringing beads, Cheerios,
    macaroni, etc.
    Using eye droppers to "pick up" coloured water for colour mixing or
    to make artistic designs on paper.
    Rolling small balls out of tissue paper, then gluing the balls onto
    construction paper to form pictures or designs.
    Turning over cards, coins, checkers, or buttons, without bringing them to
    the edge of the table.
    Making pictures using stickers or self-sticking paper reinforcements.
    Playing games with the "puppet fingers" -the thumb, index, and middle
    fingers. At circle time have each child's puppet fingers tell about what
    happened over the weekend, or use them in songs and finger plays.
    Place a variety of forms (eg. blocks, felt, paper, string, yarn, cereal,
    cotton) on outlines
    Match shapes, colour, or pictures to a page and paste them within the
    Self-Care Skills
    Fastening Snaps
    Using a screwdriver
    Locking and unlocking a door
    Winding a clock
    Opening and closing jars
    Rolling out dough or other simple cooking activities
    Washing plastic dishes
    Sweeping the floor
    Scissor Activities
    When scissors are held correctly, and when they fit a child's hand well, cutting
    activities will exercise the very same muscles which are needed to manipulate a pencil
    in a mature tripod grasp. The correct scissor position is with the thumb and middle
    finger in the handles of the scissors, the index finger on the outside of the handle to
    stabilize, with fingers four and five curled into the palm.
    Cutting junk mail, particularly the kind of paper used in magazine
    subscription cards.
    Making fringe on the edge of a piece of construction paper.
    Cutting play dough or clay with scissors.
    Cutting straws or shredded paper.
    Use a thick black line to guide cutting the following:
    A fringe from a piece of paper
    Cut off corners of a piece of paper
    Cut along curved lines
    Cut lines with a variety of angles
    Cut figures with curves and angles
    Sensory Activities
    The following activities ought to be done frequently to increase postural muscle
    strength and endurance. These activities also strengthen the child's awareness of
    his/her hands.
    Wheelbarrow walking, crab walking
    Clapping games (loud/quiet, on knees together, etc.)
    Catching (clapping) bubbles between hands
    Pulling off pieces of thera-putty with individual fingers and thumb
    Drawing in a tactile medium such as wet sand, salt, rice, or "goop".
    Make "goop" by adding water to cornstarch until you have a mixture similar
    in consistency to toothpaste. The "drag" of this mixture provides feedback to
    the muscle and joint receptors, thus facilitating visual motor control.
    Picking out small objects like pegs, beads, coins, etc., from a tray of salt,
    sand, rice, or putty. Try it with eyes closed too. This helps develop sensory
    awareness in the hands.
    Midline Crossing
    Establishment of hand dominance is still developing at this point. The following
    activities will facilitate midline crossing:
    Encourage reaching across the body for materials with each hand. It
    may be necessary to engage the other hand in an activity to prevent
    switching hands at midline.
    Refrain specifically from discouraging a child from using the left hand
    for any activity. Allow for the natural development of hand dominance by
    presenting activities at midline, and allowing the child to choose freely.
    Start making the child aware of the left and right sides of his body
    through spontaneous comments like, "kick the ball with your right leg." Play
    imitation posture games like "Simon Says" with across the body movements.
    When painting at easel, encourage the child to paint a continuous line
    across the entire paper- also from diagonal to diagonal.
  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I use a Busy Finger Box in the classroom but you could easily find most things at home
    1. Pegs -
    You need pegs of different sizes, clothes pegs, small bulldog clips, stationery clips etc. Get the children to use one hand only at a time. I usually get them to peg about 10 pegs of different sizes onto the sides of a gift bag. They might put them on with their left hand and take them off with their right.
    They can also try squeezing the pegs between the first finger and thumb (on each hand) then the middle finger and thumb and so on.
    2. Elastic bands -
    Elastic gymnastics! - Start by putting 2 elastic bands (the same size) around the thumb, first and middle fingers, ask the child to open and close the fingers. Then add another 2 elastic bands and so on. The more you have on, the harder it is to move your fingers. These exercises help to develop the muscles which make the web space when writing.
    3. Beads -
    Get beads of different sizes and thread. Ask the children to thread some beads onto their string. The smaller the hole obviously the harder it is to thread. Develops hand/eye coordination.
    4. Ball bearings and tweezers -
    Put the ball bearings in one little box and ask the child to try and pick one ball bearing up at a time with the tweezers and place in a second small box. If this is too tricky try using Hama beads and tweezers.
    5. Floam / Playdough -
    These products are great for squeezing and rolling which provides necessary sensory feedback and helps to develop hand strength. Ask the children to squeeze the dough and roll it with the palm of their hand.
    6. Doodle board -
    The Doodleboard is just a way of children practising handwriting patterns or letters without having to commit them to paper. Provide some patterns and shapes to copy.
    7. Gummed Shapes -
    Give the children a sheet of plain paper and ask them to make patterns or pictures with the gummed shapes. Just picking up on shape at a time, licking it and then sticking it down all help to develop hand/eye coordination and the pincer grip.
    8. Hama Beads -
    Hama beads are good for pincer grip and hand/eye coordination. The children have patterned sheets to copy and peg boards to put them on.
    9. Lacing cards -
    Also good for hand/eye coordination. Just give each child one card to lace.
    10. Bean bags -
    Give a child 4-5 bean bags and place a container about 3 feet infront of them. Ask the child to try and get as many beanbags in the container as possible. (Hand/eye coordination)
    11. Chalk and blackboard -
    If you can, try and wedge the blackboard between two tables and provide the child with a piece of chalk in each hand. Ask them to draw the same pattern with both hands at the same time on both sides of the board. This helps develop bilateral movement.
    Allow the children to draw patterns, shapes and letter shapes on the blackboard. The chalk gives sensory feedback and sound simultaneously.
    12. Stencils -
    Children can use the stencils to make a picture. Helps develop pencil control and special awareness among other things.
    13. Feathers -
    Ask the children to try and balance a feather on different parts of their body. This helps to develop balance and coordination.
    14. Handhugger pens -
    Hand hugger pens are the triangular shaped pens. These help the children to establish a better pencil grip.
    15. Tissue paper strips -
    Place the child's palm (at the wrist) on the end of a strip of tissue paper. Ask them to only use their middle finger to get the paper to scrunch up under their hand.
    Repeat, but this time place the side of the child's hand on one end of the tissue strip and ask them to only use their thumb to scrunch up the paper and bring it under their hand.
    These activities really help to develop the hand arch, web space and muscle tone of the hand.
    16. Stickers -
    Children love stickers. Just peeling them off provides an opportunity to develop fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination.
    17. Peg boards -
    These can be peg boards where the child has to place pegs in the holes, maybe copying patterns.
    They can be the boards with plastic pegs already on where they have to stretch elastic bands between them to make patterns.

  5. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  6. Thanks for all those lovely ideas. Would you also have some sort of theory to go with it?
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Handwriting is a complex skill that is developed on a foundation of fine motor skills & gross motor skills.

    The area of fine motor skills is crucial to a child’s success throughout school.
    Fine motor skills refer to one’s ability to grasp and utilize an object with their hands. This is important in almost all activities of life such as dressing, bathing, writing, & cutting. Consequently fine motor skills are of utmost importance in the classroom and throughout life.

    Gross Motor skills are important for major body movement such as walking, maintaining balance, coordination, jumping, and reaching. Gross motor abilities share connections with other physical functions. A child's ability to maintain upper body support, for example, will affect his ability to write. Writing is a fine motor skill. Children with poor gross motor development, may have difficulty with activities such as writing, sitting up in an alert position, sitting erect to watch classroom activity, and writing on a blackboard.
  8. As he is only little he needs to improve his shoulder girdle strength, so waving sticks flags, climbing, wheelbarrow racing............physical excercise- doing lots of outdoor 'stuff' is what he should be doing not worrying about big writing! He has got plenty of time to get that right.
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Trim trails, jungle gym, balance beams, space hoppers, crab walking, wall push offs, rope turning, sweeping with a large brush/broom, window cleaning
  10. Thanks ever so much for this!

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