> The older kids have really been into writing today. They have made list and graphs galore. This is how children become better writers. I can throw dot to dot in front of them all day, but if they aren’t ready— they aren’t ready.
Here is an article that discusses the “stages of writing” if you are interested.
And here are some ideas to help your child build stronger fine motor skills from some of my friends on a message board.
Here are some of Maureens ideas!
I have already mentioned some of the things we do in art to encourage the three finger pincher grip such as gluing. We also do an activity called pin pricking. You get a large push pin, a small piece of carpet with low pile and a variety of shapes traced on 2″ squares of construction paper. The child puts one of the squares on the carpet and punches holes on the line all the way around. Then he can punch out the shape if he has his holes close enough. Older children enjoy that one. Some children prefer to use this method for cutting out their countries when the make maps if they don’t have the skill yet to cut with scissors. We use tiny “ink” stamps, and instead of ink pads, I have them use waterproof magic markers to scrape the stamp side and use that “ink” on the stamp. We always have a variety of necklace making materials with cut straws and pony beads in seasonal colors. Both boys and girls enjoy making these.
We have another area in the room that is full of fine motor activities. For grasping(we always have our actities set out on shelves from left to right with easier to more challenging arranged across a shelf), I have out now a small bowl of yellow and green pompons on a round paint tray with 10 indentions and a strawberry huller. Then I have a tray with four dividers and a container full of four different green and yellow beads and the child takes tweezers and takes each bead at a time to sort and put in the appropriate divider. Then I have a large baster that the child bastes water from one container to another. The next one is is an eyedroper with a bottle of colored water that the child drops a bead of colored water on one of those round soap suction things. (The suction part looks like tiny mushrooms where the beads of water sit on). You can also precede the eyedropper using small beads instead of water and tweezers where they can form different designs on the soap dish. That is what I have out now for grasping.
I also have out one of those square plastic boards that have the “nails” on them and the child stretches rubber bands across the “nails” to make designs. We have a mini screwdriver that turns the screws into four holes of a predrilled board. We have a water activity that uses a hand held child sized egg beater for making bubbles(We have already had out the whisking)They have to hold the part that turns the beaters using those three fingers. We have tiny Avon type bottles of various sizes and shapes where they need to match the lids to the bottles and screw those on. We also have out polishing where they have to use their pincher fingers for putting the polish on the mirror, shoe, brass, silver, etc as well as use the small fabirc mitt to wipe the polish off the object. When they spill their bowl of beads on the floor, they get plenty of practice picking those up!(as well as helpful friends getting practice). When they pour liquids like water for their drink at snack, they use two hands, the fingers from one hand holding the handle and the other hand for balancing the glass pitcher.
From another friend:
I agree with the last poster concerning developing fine motor skills. Also, one thing that I tried with a child (and it worked) was to have him hold a cotton ball in his fist, then grasp the pencil, crayon,or marker, while still holding the cotton ball. I got this idea years ago from either T-net or a teacher’s website.
I hope you found some fun things you can do at home to help your child become a better writer!