Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Simple Motor Skill Activity

Writing skills are very important and rely on more than just our cognitive skills to develop them properly. Thanks to the blocks that come with our Handwriting Without Tears curriculum Gess has been able to prove she knows how a letter is made, because she can make every capital letter with blocks. What she lacks is the ability is to properly and consistently write the letter. Therefore she needs to strengthen the muscles in her hand to improve her motor skills. Below is a simple activity that will do just that. (This was shown to me by our speech therapist.)

All you need for this exercise is some clothespins and something for the child to clip them to. My therapist takes several of those plastic travel soap containers and fills them with clothespins and gives them to the child. They then clip each clothespin around the edges of the container and then takes them off and do it again. I didn't have a soap dish so I used a plastic basket.

Since my daughter is older and doing math, we made a game out of it and we would decide how many clothespins to put on each side of the basket. She would then proceed to pin them on. With each one she is strengthening the muscles in her fingers.

Once we have all the sides full, we count how many total there are. (Note that one side does not have any clothespins on it, that's because she decided to put zero clothespins there.)

Now all that is left to do is to take them back off again. This too will help strengthen those finger muscles that are all so important for writing!

There are so many ways you can make this fun. I am considering letting her paint them various colors and then having her make patterns with them. The key is, this exercise is simple, its easy, its enjoyable and it works!

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