Updated: Jun 19
This is great if you child likes playing with water (and does not get a lot of free play sessions with water) or if you child likes helping around…
4 different colored face towels in a laundry basket (depending on your child, you can start with 2 face towels ( and only use 2 different colors)
An empty pail near a reachable tap
A bowl of 8 clothes pegs (2 for each towel)
A very small amount of soap powder in container
(Do layout everything before inviting your child to participate)
So what does all this have to do with improving your child’s handwriting?
Please read on to see the big picture..
Procedure: (lets you the word “him” for simplicity)
Tell your child, that the towels need washing. Ask him to put the towels into the pail.
(if you would like to reinforce his color identification skills, you can start by telling him to first “take the blue towel and put in into the pail” and so forth.
Ask him to turn on the tap and put in the soap.
Let him rinse the towels with water, sqeezing the towels dry, then rinsing them again…and repeat….but do stop if he starts looking bored.
Tips: Try to make the whole activity exciting. If he has siblings give them the same task, make a game out of it. If there is no one else, get his dad…
OK HERE IT IS....
Before a child can have good fine motor skills, he has to have good gross motor skills.
We need to work our way down, starting with the muscles on his shoulders, down to his arms, his elbows, his forearms, his wrists and finally the little muscles on his fingers.
This little muscles on his fingers are what CONTROLS HIS FINE MOTOR SKILLS.
By sqeezing the towels and using the clothes pegs:
He is developing the various muscle groups that crucial for handwriting.
When he squeezes the towels, he starts to realize that he has control over the amount of pressure applied. If he squeezes lightly, less water is expelled and vice versa.
Similarly, with the clothes pegs, he not only strengthens his fingers, but learns about pressure again.
Hanging clothes on the line and applying pegs on them works on his hand eye coordination too.
PS: Have you wondered why some kids write too softly that we can barely see anything?
Have you wondered why some kids write so hard that the paper tears, and the pencil breaks?
This is to do with the PROPRIOCEPTIVE SENSE. One of the 7 senses when we talk about sensory integration. Many children with autism have issues with sensory integration. t our center for Autism here in Seremban, we have a weekly allotted time where a representative from the Occupational Therapy Team, the Speech Therapy Team and the teaching team get together. Each team has to contribute to our idea box.
You can use your imagination and create other fun ways to achieve this too.
Children frequently sit for long periods of time at their table, copying or tracing words as a handwriting practice. While that method of handwriting practice is a must, it could lead to a long term dislike for writing.
While in a school setting it may be difficult to avoid, when at home, start with just a few easy lines (meanwhile work on your child’s muscles and coordination).