Category: Fine Motor Skills

Why Kids Should Work on a Vertical Surface

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It is no secret that one of my favourite working positions is the vertical surface.  I have always said that if you wanted to take one thing out of my occupational therapy practice, you could have my tables.  I just needed the walls!  So let’s look at why kids should work on a vertical surface… Read more »

Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Activities

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There is little doubt our techno kids need opportunities for hand strengthening and fine motor development.  Using special days and holidays can go a long way to engage our children in the very activities they need, without them realising we have a hidden agenda!  With this in mind, I wanted to share some fun Valentine’s… Read more »

Hands on Activities for Kids. Paper Folding Unicorns

hands on activities for kids, hands on learning activities, paper folding ideas, interactive class activities

Paper folding develops some of the critical underlying skills for handwriting.  Handwriting development requires well-established visual-perceptual and motor foundations.  The more you expose your child to hands on activities for kids which develop these foundations, the better prepared they are going to be to embrace and successfully master the handwriting process.  These hands on learning… Read more »

Fine Motor Skills Activities for your Family at Christmas!

fine motor skills development, fine motor skills activities

Christmas comes around every year and it is a time when families can draw together and focus on the  meaning of the season.  Along with that comes all the excitement of the celebration.  I have put together some fine motor skills activities you can do with your children.  Spending time with them is the greatest… Read more »

Activities to Improve Handwriting. Dinosaur Themed!

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When we are helping children with handwriting foundations, sometimes all we want are some easily accessible grab-and-go activities we can implement at a moments notice.  While we do love to know the theory behind everything, we also need fun activities to improve handwriting that are going to enable us to apply that theory and see measurable… Read more »

Teaching Left Handers to Cut. Left Handed Scissor Skills

Teaching left-handed kids o cut

Cutting and scissor skills are one of the critical prewriting skills on account of the muscles they develop.  The muscles we use for opening and closing the scissors are the ones that are responsible for manipulating the pencil.  With this in mind, teaching left handers to cut is really important.  We want them to benefit from… Read more »

Occupational Therapy Handwriting Homework.  Yes or No?

Ocupational therapy handwriting and fine motor exercises

I have a folder on my computer for OT home programmes.  It is overflowing with written programmes and guides for the countless numbers of children I have seen over the years.  Going through it is a little like a trip down memory lane.  I wonder how those children are doing now, and if their handwriting… Read more »

Technology and Fine Motor Skills: Can we use Apps?

Apps to improve motor skills for kids

When it comes to the development of fine motor skills, the world of tablets, phones and Apps have certainly jumped on the band wagon.  One trip to Google Play or the App Store will lead you to believe that all fine motor skills development can take place on a tablet.  They tell us how using… Read more »

Tips for Improving your Handwriting: Stabilise the Page!

occupational therapy for writing skills

When looking for tips for improving your handwriting and the mechanics of good handwriting, there is one thing that WILL improve handwriting.  Every time!  And that is stabilising the page for handwriting. Tips for improving your handwriting: the working hand must be allowed to do its job When the page is not stabilised with the… Read more »

Pencil Control for Handwriting. How to Improve it with Fun Activities.

pencil control for handwriting for kids

I always say they should have called it finger writing not handwriting.  Because it is the finger and thumb movements that facilitate pencil control for handwriting.  It is the discrete refined finger movements, isolated from the hand movements, that are necessary for speed and quality of handwriting.  Of course, finger movements don’t stand alone.  They… Read more »

Cutting Skills Development. Magic Scissors®

Cutting activities for fine motor skills

Cutting is the bomb when it comes to developing fine motor skills for handwriting.  If we can get our children to both master and enjoy cutting, we are going to go a long way to establishing the muscle and motor foundations for pencil grip.  To this end, it is essential that our children achieve success… Read more »

Fine Motor Skills for Preschoolers. Turning the Tide of Declining Fine Motor Skills.

Fine motor skills activities for 4 - 6 year olds

It is well known by teachers in classrooms across this very diverse country that the standard of fine motor skills in our pre-schoolers are not where they should be.  Teachers are criticised for referring too many children to occupational therapy.  Occupational therapists are criticised for prolonged intervention for fine motor skills.  And parents?  Well, they… Read more »

What are Fine Motor Skills? Fine Motor Skills Checklist

fine motor skills development

What are fine motor skills?  They are the small co-ordinated movements of the hands and fingers that make us as human beings special.  In some instances they are also called hand skills.  The co-ordinated small muscle movements enable the hands to perform refined manipulative tasks that foster independence, and enable us to become independent, functional… Read more »

Free Practise Cutting Worksheet. Pre-School Cutting Skills

Cutting exercises for pre-schoolers

Cutting assists children to develop their fine motor hand muscles for pencil control and handwriting.  I believe it to be one of the most valuable pre-handwriting skills we have.  The cutting motion develops the exact muscles and movement patterns we need for pencil grip and pencil control so it certainly deserves our attention.  Once your… Read more »

Teaching Handwriting in South Africa | 8 Steps to Improve it.

wrist position for handwriting,

We all know what untidy, illegible handwriting looks like.  The quality of fine motor skills and pencil control are on the decline in our techno age where pre-schoolers are pointing and swiping, rather than engaging in the manipulative skills required for developing the hand muscles essential for controlling a pencil.  What is the best approach… Read more »