Posts Tagged 'fine motor'

Handwriting Worksheets: Beware! #2

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<When writing on unlined paper with his eyes closed, the second grade student's letters are 3/4 inch high.  The space on the worksheet is unlined and allows for 1/4 inch high letters.

Problem:  When a child writes letters with their eyes closed either for fun or for professional observation, the height of the letters produced can represent the “comfort level” of his finger movements.  If the height of the letters are 3/4 inch, this is more appropriate for a kindergarden student than for a second grade student.  As he must tighten down his fingers to place the letter in the worksheet’s smaller space, hand fatigue and decreased writing speed can result.

Solution: Copy the worksheet allowing for larger spaces or allow the writing on an extra page.  If ask to write on the back of the worksheet, two problems appear: 1. usually there are no lines on the back.  We all write better with lines. 2. Flipping the worksheet from front to back and then back to the front can be very distracting as well as taxing on the child’s memory as he attempts to remember the question and answer, flip the sheet and then write.

To help with improving the size of his writing, a program such as “Callirobics” (www.callirobics.com) may be helpful.  Also it would be important to look at his pencil grip which may be a cause (though not only) of the larger writing.

Alphabet Game: Battle

Alphabet flashcards can be used in other fun ways!

Decks of upper and lower case letters: Battle

a. Mix the upper and lower case letter cards

b. Divide the decks of cards between the players by dealing the cards face down in front of each player.  The players do not look at their stack of cards.

c. Choose if “A,a” or “Z,z” is to be the highest card.

d. Each person lays down a card in their pile (don’t look at the cards in the pile, just take one off the top)

e. Decide who gets the laid down cards based on the letters being the closest to the “A” or “Z”.

For example: If “Z” was chosen to be the highest card and a letter card “d” and a letter card “p” were laid down on that turn, the “p” would trump the “d” becasue it is closest to “Z”.  Being upper or lower case doesn’t impact anything. The person who laid down the “p” would pick up both cards and put them at the bottom of his pile of letters. If the same card is laid down by each person (a “D” and a “d” laid down together), battle begins.  Another card is laid down by each person.  The trump card of these two gets all the cards laid down on both turns (the “d” turn plus this turn).

The game ends when everyone gets tired of it (count the cards to determine who has the highest amount and is the winner) or when someone’s letter pile runs out!

If you need a set of nifty alphabet cards, check out mine at my website: www.lynaot.com.  The cards look like regular playing cards and can be written on for tracing with an erasable marker.  They come in a cute cloth bag for storage.

Summer Fun: Bowling with Blocks or Bottles!

BOWLING 

Materials needed

Play Dough                                      Marker board and markers

Marbles/balls: Size will depend on size of the blocks that need to be knocked down

Ten wooden blocks of varying sizes or sixteen ounce water bottles (each filled partially with sand or water and carefully sealed)

1. Choose a place to play on the floor or at a table.

2. Choose the name of your team. Help your child with the beginning letter of the team.

Four year olds: Make the letters for your child out of sticks or wicky sticks or write the letters for your child on the marker board.  Do not expect him to write letters at this age.

Five years old and up:  Help your child write the beginning letter of each team on the paper (playing field).  If your child cannot write the letter, talk him through it or write it for him.  Remember the larger the letter is written, the easier it is to write and to remember.

3. Have your child use both hands to roll the play dough into long ropes to become the “bumper” pads for your bowling alley.  Put the bumper pads in place.

4. Set the blocks or bottles in a triangular pattern as in real bowling.

5. Roll the marbles or large ball down the alley, knocking down the blocks or bottles.

6. Help your child write tally marks or write numbers on the marker board to keep score.  Do not expect your child to keep adding the numbers. That is your job!

Variation:

Rolling marbles down a swimming pool noodle to knock down small blocks.  The child places the marbles in the noodle, aligning the noodle with the blocks.

Shoe box with three doors cut out of it: Place the inverted shoe box at the end of the alley.  Give each “door” a number. As he rolls the marbles down the alley through a door, the child receives that number of points.

Place stickers with shapes or letters or numbers on the bottom of each bottle.  When a bottle is knocked down, the child may write or draw the shape, letters or number that appear for an extra turn.  Be a good sport if you don’t get a turn!

Memory game: Insure that there are pairs of matching stickers on the bottom of the bottles. Ask your child to find the matching pairs by turning the bottles over. The person with the most pairs wins the game.

Developmental Skills:

 Gross Motor: If playing on the floor, balance in sitting may be improved as the child moves to hit or retrieve the ball or to move his players. When standing, balance may be improved as the child shifts his weight to maintain his balance.

Fine Motor: Rolling the marbles requires precise eye hand coordination. Setting up the “bowling pins” requires arm strength and an adequate grasp of the objects. Using both hands together (bilateral integration) is promoted by using a large ball and by rolling the Play Dough ropes.

 Perceptual: Setting up the “pins” into a triangular shape stresses diagonal perception.

Numbers and letters may be learned as well as concepts of up and down.

 Language: Development of social skills such as taking turns and learning to play fair as well as losing or winning may be enhanced. Concepts of same and different, how many, are practiced.

 Tactile/Kinesthetic: As the fingers are used for precise movement, feedback is received as to their position with the hand and rest of the body.

Page 20 & 21 Alphabet Soup: Stirring Your Child’s Interest in Letters by Lyn Armstrong O.T.R.

Summer fun: Air Hockey!

AIR HOCKEY

Materials needed

Tape Feather   (the “puck”)
Washable   markers Cookie   sheet or tray (“playing field”)
Construction   paper Infant   nasal syringe for each team player

1. Play on the floor or at a table.  If your child is comfortable on the floor, have him lie on his stomach while propping his body up with his forearms. At the table, he should sit in a chair which allows his feet to be flat on the floor. The table top should be slightly above his arms when they are bent at his side.

2. Choose the names of the two teams.  Help your child write the first letter of each team on a piece of construction paper, which will also be your score sheet.

3. On the cookie sheet, which is your playing field, use a washable marker or a long piece of tape to mark off each team’s goal or line to cross for the team to score.  Make sure your child knows where the feather must cross for him to score a point.

4. Each person chooses a nasal syringe which will be used to blow the feather back and forth across the playing field. Place the feather in the middle of the playing field.

5. After someone says “Go”, the players use the nasal syringe to blow the feather back and forth across the playing field until one person scores by crossing the opposite line or goal.

6. When one person scores make a mark or number on the corresponding team’s paper. Play until one team achieves five points.  Remember this is FUN. Do not make it too hard for your child to score a point.

Alternate uses for the infant nasal syringe:

  • Use it as a water gun.
  • For hand strengthening fill up containers with water
  • Add paint or egg dye to cups of water and mix the colored water using the syringes.

Developmental Skills:

Gross Motor: Playing on his stomach while propped on forearms helps strengthen the upper back, neck muscles and shoulders.

Fine Motor: As the child squeezes and releases the nasal syringe, his hand may be strengthened.

Perceptual: As the feather moves back and forth, the child practices eye tracking as well as judging “near and far” distance. Numbers and letters may be learned and written.

Language: Encourage the use of words such as “close to you”, “close to me”, “here it comes”. Social skills such as taking turns and learning to play fair as well as losing and winning are practiced.

Tactile/Kinesthetic: Hand awareness may develop as the hand moves across the playing field.

Exert: Alphabet Soup: Stirring Your Child’s Interest in Letters (www.lynaot.com)

Equipment: Scissor Types

If your child has not established a hand dominance, consider using “loop” scissors that do not require finger placement but rather use the whole hand for opening and closing the scissors.  These loop scissors often have spring action which helps with the concept of “open and close” needed for regular scissors. Find these at www.funandfunction.com or www.therapro.com !

If your child is left handed, please purchase left handed scissors.  Many left handers that I know actually use their right hand for scissor usage as they were not given left handed scissors early in education. Check out www.leftyslefthanded.com!

There are wonderful scissors which allow the teacher to place their fingers along side of the child’s fingers to help with teaching the open and close motion! Find these at www.funandfunction.com or www.therapro.com!

For those who like the thumb in a loop, the middle finger in a loop, and the index finger along the blades there are small scissors to allow this method of teaching as well! Find these at www.therapro.com

Ready to Use Scissors?

Because development happens in a sequential fashion, it is important to respect the developmental sequence. This may help avoid frustration on your part (as you ask a child to do something they aren’t ready to do) and on the child’s part (whose nervous system is not ready to do this skill).  Stepping Stones Age Norms From Birth to Age Six by Keith E. Beery and Natasha A. Beery have given us developmental guidelines for scissor usage. Please remember however that each child develops at different rates.  You may have a child that is more advanced or one that is more immature than what is listed below as a guideline. Please work at the child’s developmental age level not his chronological age level to insure success! Make sure the scissors are safe and activities supervised.

2.7 years: Makes small snips with help

3.11 years: Cuts a piece of paper in half on a fairly straight line

4.7 years: Cuts out a big circle

4.11 years: Cuts pre drawn 4 inch square within 1/4 inch of line

4.11 years: Makes a collage of easy shapes after cutting out

5.5 years: Cuts cloth with scissors

5.11 years: Cuts out simple picture following a general outline within 1/4 inch

Psalm 139:14

 

Great Fine Motor Ideas!

There are so many blogs and webpages with great fine motor ideas!  I am listing a few that you might want to further explore.  If I have accidentally left yours out, please leave a comment alerting us to yours!  I would love to know your favorites!

http://prekinders.com/fine-motor-skills/

http://spaghettiboxkids.com/blog

http://www.ot-mom-learning-activities.com

http://pinterest.com/ness/montessori-fine-motor-skills-activities/

http://handsonaswegrow.com/2012/01/30-kids-activities-materials-for-promoting-fine-motor-skills.html

http://www.2teachingmommies.com/

http://nancybarthtutoring.com/

 

 


Handwriting Questions

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ALPHABET PLAYING CARD DECKS

Alphabet Soup: Fun Activities to Stir Your Child's Interest in Letters by Lyn Armstrong O.T.R