Learning to write letters and numerals does not have to be a dreaded, tedious task. Have fun with it by using some of these ideas.Read More
A fisted grip is fine for young toddlers, but as children mature, it is important to use a correct grip on pencils and crayons for handwriting efficiency. Read on to discover tips that will help you encourage the correct grip.Read More
Young children’s movements develop in the large muscles first, and then are refined to include the muscles in the hands and fingers, so today, we will look at some fun ways to reinforce that development.
This first batch of activities is for general strengthening. Most of the activities encourage your child to use both of their hands and to bring their hands to the midline and even cross over, which is very important for handwriting. Handwriting requires the use of both hands - one to hold the paper and one to write with.
- Play-doh - Most kids love to play with play-doh, yet parents are sometimes hesitant to use it because they are afraid of a mess. You can contain that mess by placing the play-doh on a tray, cookie sheet, or even a vinyl placemat. (Kids usually respond well to having a defined area to play or work.) Encourage your child to roll snakes by rolling it against the table and to use two hands to roll balls of play-doh. Pushing, smooshing and poking play-doh help to strengthen those tiny muscles.
- Legos/snap blocks - Legos and other blocks that snap together require both hands to connect them and are a great way to strengthen small muscles when connecting and disconnecting them.
- Threading/lacing - Threading beads on a pipe cleaner (for very young children) or a lace (for older children) is another great 2-handed activity. Lacing involves “sewing” around an object using a cord or yarn. (You can wrap tape around the end of a piece of yarn to make a stiff end for lacing/threading.)
- Jars and bottles - The twisting and turning of opening and closing jar lids is a great way to isolate those small muscles.
- Tongs - Let your child use clothespins or chip clips to pick up small objects such as pom-poms or pieces of pasta. Encourage them to only use one hand to do this activity. Kitchen tongs can also be used for slightly larger objects, first using both hands and eventually only one hand when they are large enough to manipulate the tongs. For a fun twist on "clean-up", let them use the tongs to pick up small toys that have been left out.
All of these activities work on the small muscles in the hands, isolating and strengthening the small movements that are required for handwriting. Next, we will look at some actual writing activities and even discover some fun ways to encourage your child to use a proper pencil grip.
The world is full of activity. Some is easily seen: cars rushing through traffic, children coloring pictures on paper, a mama rocking her baby, buses stopping to pick up school children, and animals in a field.
Other activity is less obvious. Sometimes it occurs when no one is paying attention. Other times it might occur in the dark of the night, when people are sleeping. If we take a close look at the world around us, however, we will find all sorts of clues that can tell us more about the activities that often go unnoticed and the creatures that create them.
Tracks are a great way to start.
A simple walk on the beach or the woods might reveal footprints left behind by animals too shy to come out into the open where we can see them.
If you are lucky enough to leave in a snowy region, you are most likely very familiar with the tracks made by a sled,
In a forest, you might find tracks left behind by a variety of animals.
Scientist study tracks to learn more about the animals that make them. Police officers might use vehicle tracks to solve a mystery. Looking at tracks, not just animal tracks, can tell us several different things:
- what is making the tracks,
- how long ago the tracks were made,
- where did it come from,
- where is it going,
- how fast they were going.
Studying tracks can be lots of fun and gives us a chance to feel more connected to the world around us and even very young children will enjoy learning about them.
Our newest Connections Box is called Making Tracks. In it, you will find a great book and all the materials you need to complete a variety of different activities related to tracks. You child will not only learn, but they will have tons of fun playing and making their own tracks. I bet that you will find them on the lookout in your yard and neighborhood. You might even learn a little bit, too!
Click on over to our SHOP or more information about how you can purchase this newest box of fun!
It is almost time to introduce our next Connections Box. Coming on January 1st is . . . Making Tracks !
Included in Making Tracks is a fun, winter-themed book and enough materials to complete 9 different activities. Knowing that some of you live in snow-filled climates, and others have barely even seen a flurry, the included activities are appropriate for all of you! There will be some that you can do outdoors and others that are perfect for when the weather is less than desirable.
Research shows us again and agin that children learn best through play and these Connection boxes are designed for just that. The children will have fun while they are learning new skills, and you will find ways to connect with them and make memories that both of you will treasure.
As always, there are various options available for purchasing these boxes, and we now even often a gift option as well.
If you want to be notified of updates or when new products are available, please sign up above. I promise not to fill your inbox with a bunch of spam and instead will send you a fun little activity to do with your child.