Magnatabs: Practice writing your letters with this awesome sensory motor product. Trace each letter using the stylus and the small encased metal balls, just POP up to fill-in the hole.Erase- by gently running your finger over the letter again, and they drop back down. So you get additional letter practice in! Upper case and lower case letters available, as well as numbers. A free-play board with just holes & balls also available for creating your own design, while still getting pencil practice in!
Watch your creation come to life then evaporate leaving a magically clean and inviting slate for your next masterpiece. Great for those writing/drawing phobic's-afraid to put anything down on paper!
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How should my child be holding the crayon or pencil?
A fisted grasp is typical for children two and under. This grasp will be be a full fist wrapped around the pencil with movement from their whole arm.
A palmar grasp will emerge as your child gains more control of the writing implement, the pencil will lay across palm and elbow out to the side a bit.
A quadruped grasp; fingers are usually extended, holding the crayon in their palm with four fingertips placed on crayon shaft.
A tripod grasp; a mature tripod grasp is shown above with three fingers placed on pencil. This grasp should be emerging by four and established by 5-6 years old.
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When Paper and Pencil Seem Boring!
Even though there is a huge push for computers, iPads, and other technology, writing is still such a large part of your student's day in school and at home with homework. And it is important!! After all, what do you have if the power goes out? Or you are in the car, at a restaurant, or doctor's office waiting room with no battery charger?
Pencil and Paper!!
Here are some fun ways to "Mix it up" and all you need is paper and a pencil or crayon.
When you need to make homework a little more interesting
- Take your child's worksheets and tape them to the wall or a door, standing up to complete the worksheet isn't only a different way to do your work but it also will help stregthen those upper arm muscles.
- If you have a small table, tape the worksheet to the bottom of the table or under a chair. Now have your child lie on the floor and complete there worksheet.
- You can use a slantboard(pictured above) or three ring binder, place your child's homework on top and they have an inclined writing surface.
When you aren't doing homework and need to complete writing neatly. Here are some fun handwriting activities you can do at home or in school.
- Write in various textures: shaving cream, sand, salt, pudding, ooblique (cornstarch and water mixture) or paints. Take one of these textured media and spread on a cookie sheet or tray. Use your finger to trace or write shapes, letters, numbers, or words. You can always use shaving cream on the bathtub wall for easier clean up.
- For those of you who are not a fan of messy play, seal your media in a plastic Zip loc bag and trace on top.
- Practice forming letters with small items. Take a piece of construction paper and write a letter, now have your child cover the letter with whatever small item you choose. You can use beans, buttons, pebbles, cheerios, or small pasta. Erase and try a new letter. You can also trace the letter with glue, then glue these small items to the paper. This activity can also be themed- for example use appleseeds for A, beans for B, cheerios for C, dots for D, and so on.
- Writing and coloring over texture. Take a piece of sandpaper or cardboard and place it underneath your wirting paper. This will provide input as your child is writing or coloring over it.
- Write with chalk. You can write with chalk on a blackboard, construction paper, outside on the sidewalk or concrete wall. When you are finished writing, trace your letters with a damp sponge to erase reinforcing the formation of letters.
For Your Older Students
Handwiriting can be unpopular with all ages. For your older students or children these writing tasks may make handwriting practice a little more fun.
- Find a pen pal, can be a friend or family member and WRITE! Forget the emails and texts and grab some pencil, paper, and an envelope.
- Lists: Ask your children to write the grocery list, to do list, or fill in your planner or calendar.
- Play tic tac toe with different letters each game.
- Play Jenga- take each block of your Jenga game and write a word on the side. When it is your turn, you slide out a block, read your word, then place on top. Now before the next player goes, you have to write a sentence with the word from your block. Make it more interesting and have each player add on to your sentence, creating a whole story.
- And of course use Story Starters! You can find story starters in our past newsletters, posted on our blog and website and here are a few more.
My friends and I went into the ice cream shop and ordered the largest sundae on the menu. It had.....
The purple and green monster sitting next to me....
Our substitute teacher walked into the classroom and.....
Walking through the zoo, we noticed something was different and....
Our alien friend landed from....
We weren't allowed to get a dog, so we brought home...
Compiled by Lisa Walker OTR
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