Category: General News

Writing on the Lines: Should our Children Write on Lines?

how to teach a child to write on the line, letter sizing activities, writing on the lines, baseline orientation handwriting, letters on the line, writing on the line worksheets, how do I help my child to write on the lines, highlighting lines for handwriting, teaching my kid to write on lines

Like so many aspects of handwriting, the writing lines vs no writing lines debate is as passionate and diverse as there are people discussing it.  Should our focus be writing on the lines, or should our children work on blank paper and within wide writing lines? The South African CAPS Handwriting Curriculum advocates that children… Read more »

How to Teach my Child to Write their Name

how do i teach my child to write their name, what age does a child learn to write their name, how to teach a child to write their name worksheets, name writing activities for pre-schoolers, when should a child be able to write their name, how do I teach my preschooler to write his name?, teaching preschoolers to write their name, teach my child to write their name, learn to write your name preschool, learn to write your name worksheet’ learn to write your name free printable, learn to write your name ideas, learn to write your name tips

There is no hard and fast rule as to when a child should write their name.  But usually by Grade 00 your child’s peers are starting to write their names on their art work, and that can either light the spark, or can even put them under pressure to feel like they should be able… Read more »

Dysgraphia or Disorder in Written Expression: Typing Accomodations

handwriting accommodations, accommodations for poor handwriting, typing accommodation, handwriting interventions, OT and handwriting, help for handwriting, activities to promote handwriting, dysgraphia, disorder or written expression, dysgraphia accommodations, alternatives for handwriting

While we promote handwriting and its benefits from improved story writing and composition, to aiding with memory and recall; there are times when handwriting has gone really wrong.  Some children have Dysgraphia or Disorder in Written Expression, and no amount of handwriting intervention has been able to assist them with achieving fluid and legible handwriting…. Read more »

Technology and Fine Motor Skills: Can we use Apps?

children and technology, technology and fine motor skills, negative effects of technology on children, ipad use in occupational therapy, apps to improve fine motor skills, fine motor programme south africa

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 »

Does Pencil Grip Matter?

does pencil grip matter, when should a child develop a tripod grasp, why is correct pencil grip important?, pencil grasp development, when to fix a pencil grip, stages of pencil grasp development, pencil grip, pencil grip, what is a tripod pencil grip, when can a toddler hold a pencil, what is the palmar grasp, how should you hold a pencil, poor pencil grip, poor pencil grasp, incorrect pencil grip, pencil grips occupational therapy, pencil grasp development chart, wrong pencil grip, poor pencil grip

Once your child is in preschool, the words “pencil grip” suddenly seem to be important.  Does pencil grip matter?  Is it important how children hold their pencils, and can this really impact their future schooling? The dynamic tripod pencil grip is the gold standard for pencil grips.  With this grip, your child will hold their… Read more »

Does Occupational Therapy Help with Handwriting?

does occupational therapy help with handwriting, occupational therapy handwriting assessment, occupational therapy handwriting goals, handwriting groups occupational therapy Components of handwriting occupational therapy, handwriting for kids, ot for handwriting, occupational therapy assessment, messy handwriting ot

By the time our children enter Grade 1, they have usually learned to write their names, and may be able to write letters and numbers.  The more advanced amongst them will even be able to write words and sentences.  But for the most part, handwriting is the domain of the Grade 1 classroom.  Our teachers… Read more »

Tips for Improving Handwriting: Stabilise the Page!

occupational therapy for writing skills, mechanics of good handwriting, activities to improve handwriting, handwriting development activities, good handwriting tips, how can I write neatly and fast, tips for improving your handwriting, components of handwriting, stabilising the page for handwriting, stabilize the page for handwriting, how to improve your handwriting

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. Mechanics of Good Handwriting: The Working Hand Must Be Allowed to Do its Job When the page is not stabilised with the helping… Read more »

Improving Pencil Control for Handwriting

pencil control for handwriting, pencil control exercises, pencil control worksheets, improve pencil control, what is pencil control

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 »

What is Midline Crossing: 5 Ways it Affects Handwriting

crossing the midline exercises, crossing the midline activities, what is a midline, what is crossing the midline activities, why is bilateral coordination is important crossing the body’s midline, crossing midline exercises for kids, occupational therapy midline crossing activities, #midlinecrossing, #bilateralintegration, #handpreference, #handdominance, #midline, #handwriting

Everyone talks about midline crossing like we should inherently know what it is.  They use the term in a throw away manner like they are talking about skipping or bike riding – something that everyone should just automatically know about.  So what is midline crossing?  Midline crossing is the ability to cross the imaginary midline… Read more »

Left Handed Development and Teaching Lefties to Write

teaching left handed children, teaching left handers to write, left handed writing tips

When our babies begin exploring they tend to use both hands, or randomly use either the left or right hand.  Hand preference may begin to emerge as early as 2 or 3 years of age, while for others, this may only happen around the age of 5 or 6.  So, you may notice early on… Read more »

Why a Multi-Sensory Handwriting Curriculum?

fun letter formation activities, multi-sensory approach to writing

Multi-sensory is defined by the Collins English Dictionary as “involving or using more than one of the senses.”  So, what is the big deal about this when it comes to a multi-sensory approach to writing? A Multisensory Handwriting Programme is a Must! Over time we have learned that using sensory input, such as touch or… Read more »

Letter Formation Order: Does it Matter?

There are as many ways to teach letter formation as there are teachers.  Each teacher draws on her experience and applies it into her classroom to give the children in her class the best chance of achieving success.  However, we are also able to draw on the developmental progression of acquisition of the foundational lines,… Read more »

Walk Before you Can Run: Pre-Writing Lines and Shapes

pre-writing skills, occupational therapy, wikki stix

They say you can’t run before you can walk and I am certain that we all agree that this is true.  Just as true, is that children cannot learn to form letters and numbers before they have mastered the drawing of shapes.  And they cannot draw shapes before they are able to draw the component… Read more »

The Perceptual-Motor Foundations of Handwriting: Handwriting Development

foundations for handwriting, classroom strategies for handwriting, handwriting development, handwriting intervention strategies, occupational therapy handwriting tools

If a child is struggling with poor handwriting and is referred for an occupational therapy handwriting assessment, the outcome of the assessment can show very diverse difficulties.  This is because the perceptual-motor foundations of handwriting are numerous and complex.  Let’s look at The Wall®, an occupational therapy framework for explaining learning difficulties in children, and… Read more »

Which Pencil Grip? The Start Right Pencil Grip

We know for sure that there is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to remediating an incorrect pencil grip.  When do you use the Start Right Pencil Grip, when do you use the CLAW and when is the Stetro or Crossover the best?  Is there a checklist, a magic formula… Read more »

How Can we Turn the Tide of Declining Fine Motor Skills? Fine Motor Skills for Preschoolers

fine motor skills activites, fine motor skills activities for 4 - 6 year olds, fine motor skills for preschoolers, how do you help a child develop fine motor skills, fine motor programmes south africa

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

What are fine motor skills?  Fine motor skills 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.  Fine motor skills enable the hands to perform refined manipulative tasks that foster independence, and enable us to become independent, functional… Read more »

Why I Never use Clothes Pegs as Finger Strengthening Exercises

Years ago, I had every conceivable type of clothes peg in my occupational therapy practise.  We made Lion King ones, Nemos, and of course, Disney Princesses for the girls.  We picked up jelly tots and every other imaginable item.  We were working on the-three-friends®.  For those of you who don’t know, the-three-friends – the thumb,… Read more »