I am not a big New Year resolution maker, but I do like to take the time to set goals for myself and think about the things I want to teach my children. One topic that came to mind was writing. Many children with vision issues struggle with writing. When speaking to our OT, we talked about the fact that they need to lift their pencil many times and find the little spot it is supposed to go back on. For instance, an “E” will need someone to lift their pencil 4 times before it is completed. This is why cursive writing is fabulous for the older kids. Unfortunately, many schools are not teaching the kids cursive and when they do, it is only in 2nd or 3rd grade. So how can we support our little ones?
My suggestion is to start easy, simple and stress free. I have recently purchased the program Handwriting Without Tears for the preschool age children and have found it very easy to do, fun and educational. Using some of things I learned from this program, my discussions with our OT, and my educational background; I try to come up with additional fun ways for Elly to practice writing. These pages are easy to adjust and make yourself at home. Although they may not look like Elly is practicing writing, she is developing the skills needed to form letters correctly. When I am teaching her writing skills, I always begin with showing her how to hold the pencil correctly (the bird grip, as we call it) and demonstrating the task correctly. The great thing about these tasks is that you can use the same paper many times, just have them trace, scribble or draw with a different color each time. At the end, your paper will be a rainbow =)
Below are 3 pages at different levels of difficulty – feel free to print and use them. Often, I’ll just take a thick marker and draw them on the back of other projects so we don’t waste paper. Stickers work great too if you don’t like to draw. If I remember, I’ll try scan some others as we do them.
Easy: Find the fish and help it swim (scribble)
Medium: Help the penguin find his dad (draw a line in-between the path)
Medium 2: Trace and then color the snowman.
Thanks for sharing! These are really great for my daughter – she loves crafts & coloring so it’s right up her ally. We’re working on writing her name right now so we do the dot method where we write her name in all dots & she connects the dots to write it out. She’s thrilled when she gets it done 🙂
We’re working on her name too and she is getting better. We can’t do the dots as it is too confusing for her and she gets frustrated. I use a thick light colored marker (lime green) and write her name, then she traces over mine. She is too smart and has figured out that her nickname is shorter to write and she prefers Elly to Elliana.
I love that you talked about the Handwriting Without Tears program. I love it too!! and used it a lot when I was working as an OT in the school district. Hope you enjoy my Fine Motor Fridays too. 🙂
Found it… http://www.askmissmommy.com/2010/01/fine-motor-friday-cooking.html
Nicholas received a LeapFrog Scribble and Write as a gift for the holidays, which we have found to be very useful for developing basic writing skills, and hand eye skills. It is a little hand held ‘computer’ tablet that allows for the selection of a variety of exercises (trace shapes, trace letters, draw lines, etc) and incorporates a retraceable surface which is lighted underneath. It also incorporates learning games and step by step instructions.
We find it very beneficial and worthwhile from a number of perspectives. We’ll even use it when patching to encourageuse of the weaker eye. http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3508454
Things we’ve found to be helpful with the handwriting, which we’re just now starting as Bennett turns five this month and is expressing interest:
– a tiny LED flashlight and the Crayola glow boards (they’re on Amazon.) In a dark room it captures Bennett’s attention for a long time.
– Cursive First, we’re homeschoolers and used this to teach our older kids cursive. We’re trying it now with Bennett and so far I’m VERY impressed! One of the tips is to put a piece of black construction paper in the lid of a box and pour sand over it for the kids to play and practice. Good for high contrast and tactile feedback, Bennett loves it. He does seem to have an easier time with continual strokes of the cursive vs. the up and down of printing.
– dry erase boards with thick black markers for contrast. We have a kids’ easel (IKEA has them inexpensively with dry erase boards on one side and chalkboard on the other.)