Sunday, November 6, 2011

Help! My Kid Can't Write!

With every other kid I've run into this little hurdle...a kid who has difficulty holding a pencil and writing.  Our first child, Monica, probably needed these little helps, but because she was in a very rigorous school at the time, she was pushed so she performed.  Our second child, Maria, is very artistic so writing was a challenge and an art form.  Therefore, she had no problems.  Molly was my biggest challenge.  I tried having her trace straight lines, slanted lines, squiggly lines until she would cry.  We practiced making circles around a paper plate with chalk.  Then I found out she still hadn't mastered her pincer grasp.  It was SO difficult.  We practiced a lot playing "Feed the Chicks."  Basically, we would hold our thumb and first two fingers in a pencil grasping position, put them down on paper, and practice moving the three fingers in and out....chicks eating seeds!  It worked!  Lucas had no difficulties, but now we are at Gabe.  He is an excellent reader, an inquisitive child, and has a stellar vocabulary, but....the big BUT....he struggles with how to hold a pencil, crayon, scissors, you name it!  A short ride home this evening with a dear friend of mine who teaches at a Montessori school in our area, gave me the following exercises that can help Gabe and me (I get frustrated when my kids just don' know.....get it!).

Lacing Work

You can make these or buy wooden shapes from Melissa & Doug

Paper Punching

This one is very cool.  You take a corn cob holder and cut off one of the pokey ends.  Take a paper shape, mount it on a piece of carpet, and have the child punch all the way around the shape.  You can then manipulate the shape out of the paper and hang it up.

See how each one has 2 pins?  You cut one of them off.  The little corn handle helps the child's pincer grasp.
They have to really concentrate.  I suppose a push pin could work, too, but they might not get enough hold on the end
of a pin.

Manipulating with Tongs

The idea here is that the child will use the tongs for placing objects (cotton balls, small pebbles, beans) from
one bowl to another.

Cutting Work

Notice the tongue!!


This is very cool!  You take a travel size spray bottle (3.5 oz.) and fill it with a diluted glass cleaner solution.  Set up a few glass items and have the child clean them with the spray bottle and a cotton ball. You can then advance the child to detailing the hard to reach areas with a Q-tip.

Tracing Work

Tracing in Sand
Mount tracing paper onto printed paper that has these types of lines with paper clips.
The child then uses a pencil to trace them.

Tracing with a finger on sandpaper letters

I hope these little activities help you if you need the help.  All of these things are easy to put together and do with your child.  I'm glad I'm cataloguing them here for when our next child needs help with these basic skills.  

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