Handwriting Helpers

My Obstacle Course Station: "Finding What's Different"- using a triangular crayon to build fine motor skill of circling

Need To Help Your Child build Fine Motor Skills?  You’re Not Alone!

One thing that has come up over and over again when working with other parents is a desire to build fine motor skills with their children.  Since I also have a child who has difficulties with fine motor skills, handwriting in particular  (he didn’t start writing letters until he was 6 and we are still working on legibility), I have searched for and tried lots of things to help him.  Some of them worked great for him others not so much.  As with most things, finding something that will work for your child is a bit of trial and error but when you do find something that works, it is worth it!

Personal Note:  I was in a bit of denial about Andrew’s fine motor skill weakness, since he could spin a dime with no problem, and just thought he was just a child who wasn’t too interested in drawing or writing.  It wasn’t until he became school-age and he wasn’t even close to being able to write letters or numbers that we could see it was a weakness in several issues like planning and applying pressure.  I thought about the motor planning involved in doing something like handwriting that I realized he needed help practicing at home as well with an Occupational Therapist.  Looking back, this all makes sense considering he has issues in another developmental area that requires lots of planning and very particular fine motor skills- speech!

Handwriting Helpers:  Tools To Help With Finger Placement

One major issue that Andrew has with handwriting is finger placement.  You may have seen these crayons and markers in the arts and crafts aisle of your local department store and thought that making them triangular in shape was just the new craze.  I think that the crayon and marker manufacturing companies are realizing the increased need for building fine motor skills that don’t involve pushing a button, toggle or touch screen.  The shape of these crayons and markers actually help place your child’s fingers in the proper position with each of the first three fingers (thumb, pointer and middle fingers) getting their own side.

Triangular Crayon

Proper finger placement is easy with this shape- each finger gets a side.

Using the Triangular Crayon to write

Triangular Marker by Crayola

Auditory and Visual Cues Learned From Andrew’s Handwriting Camp OT: Andrew attended a “Handwriting Camp” this past summer and the Occupational Therapist teaching it divided the fingers into “go” fingers (thumb, pointer finger and middle finger) which are allowed to touch the tool and “stop” fingers (the fourth finger and the pinkie) which don’t touch the writing tool.  She even put a green and red marker dot on their fingers so they would have a visual cue!  Awesome!

Get A Grip On It!

There are pencil grips that you can place on the pencil that helps position the fingers.

Pencil Grip

Grip positioner on pencil

Writing with fingers placed in grip

Click here to access an Amazon.com link for these grips.

This next pencil grip tool, the Writing C.L.A.W., is the tool that helps Andrew with his writing.

Finger tip pencil grip called the Writing C.L.A.W.

Where your fingers go in this pencil grip

Grip on pencil

Fingers in grip- you may have to help them get their fingers in the right spot but once in, they can only be in the correct writing position.

Writing with fingers in pencil grip

Click here to go to the Writing C.L.A.W. website.

Note:  I do not have any associations with these companies, I am just sharing what I have found useful and would recommend to help other people like me.

This post is only focused on some of the tools I have found.  There are so many more activities and items to help with fine motor skills so check back often to see what I have found and used in my home with my child!!

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