Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Improving Hand Strength and Writing Skills

Isn't he cute....he loves to color (and hoard all the crayons and markers as he works). If you look at the next two pictures you can also see that he still has an immature hold on those crayons and does not use a "tripod" grasp.

you will not get those extra crayons and markers away from him!

Since my big guy has had lots of Occupational Therapy, I feel that I have some tricks up my sleeve to help the little guy with his coloring and writing skills that I would like to share with you all.

First of all, a lot of our crayons look like the one below. Actually we have a whole box of them! Some were broken unintentionally, others were broken by the big guy when he was learning to color because he would hold them so hard his knuckles would turn white and they would just snap in half and most of them I just broke in two as soon as they came home.

No I am not just a crayon murderer, the smaller size no longer fits in the palm of his hands, promoting the proper tripod grasp.

We have not tried these markers yet made by Crayola but they would work the same way due to their smaller size (they are on my list when I find them on sale).
Another great idea is to use an easel and have them color and write on it instead of a flat surface. Working on a vertical surface helps strengthen the whole arm which is an important foundation skill for writing plus it helps position the wrist correctly.

This is the type of tabletop easel that we use at our house. It is made by Battat for Parent's Magazine Toys, I purchased it a long time ago at Target for about $20.00.
Another good activity to improve the strength in the small muscles of the hand is to load a big ball of play-doh or therapy putty with small beads. It is also another way that the big guy and I work on counting skills. I just tell him that there are 15 beads hiding, can you find them all?

1 comment:

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

This is great! I love the play-doh and beads idea.