Ever since Owen was teeny and couldn’t manage to figure out the tripod grip (the fancy name for the proper way to hold a pencil or pen), I’ve been on a perpetual search for ways to work on all of my kids’ fine motor skills.
We tried everything: hole punching, beading, nuts and bolts (oh yes we did!), pop beads, chopsticks, playdough, sewing, you name it.
Painting, cutting, coloring, stringing snacks, pointing, playing, and wiggling.
I did a whole lot of reading on the subject of the tripod grip only to learn that it needs to be directly taught because to many children, it is not at all natural. And children need to be corrected early so that mistakes don’t become bad habits.
And though I am fully aware of the fact that the writing that our kids will do in their lives will most likely be a fraction of what we have done–because of the technology at their fingertips–I do know that every child does need to be able to properly hold a writing utensil. They must write their names on all of their papers and sign their works of art. That will never change.
But I do know that every child’s abilities develop at different speeds.
Family and parenting expert Joanna Nesbit states, ‘. . . putting pencil to paper is a complicated developmental task for youngsters, and everyone progresses at her own rate based on a variety of factors, including the development of fine-motor skills, hand-eye coordination and cognitive abilities’ “Handwriting Help for Kids“.
So I’m all for trying to work on what I can, while I am able.
Here’s the skinny. . .
- Fine Motor FUN with Stamp Markers (from Melissa & Doug): A totally new-for-us product that we’ve recently run across is Melissa & Doug’s Stamp Markers.
These are stamp sets-meet-markers-meet puzzles-meet-activity pads.
I love them. My kids love them.
We’ve taken them on road trips, on plane rides (to Disney!), doctors’ offices. Cora uses hers on the occasions when she’s had to sit through meetings with me or wait in the car pick-up line. Simple fun. With no mess.
Blue Stamp Marker Set and Pink Stamp Marker Set, we have them both, and we love them both. And at about 5 bucks a piece, it’s a great price if you ask me.
Again, from expert Joanna Nesbit, ‘Fine-motor skills — the ability to use fingers, hands and wrists for small, controlled movements — are essential for kids to be able to write letters and words legibly. Children typically develop their fine motor skills in a natural progression throughout early childhood, but these skills come easier for some than for others. Parents can help. . . ‘Yes. Parents can help–and I’m betting they all would with the right bits of direction. Happy fine-motor-skill tuning!
fyi: This blog post is part of an incentivized online influencer network for Mom’s Homeroom. Mom’s Homeroom is brought to you by Frosted Mini-Wheats.
As a Melissa & Doug Blog Ambassador, I did receive this product as part of the Blog Ambassador program; affiliate links are included in this post, so if you click on them and choose to buy the product, awesome–I’d appreciate it tremendously!
I happened upon your website tonight via a pin on Pinterest….the one with 150 ideas on sticks. Your site is exactly what I have been looking for!!! I am a fifth grade teacher with a daughter that is entering pre-K next year. This coming summer will be the first time we have stayed home together, and I have been searching for ideas to help prepare her…in a fun way. You have so many great ideas here….your site will be our go-to spot! I’m thinking of starting the every day name book tomorrow…it’s too good to wait. Thanks for creating such a great resource!!!
omg thank you thank YOU Tracy, for taking the time to write such a kind note. I really appreciate it and hope that you find what you need this summer! Please do stay in touch–we’re on this journey together! 🙂
Indeed, our children won’t do near the handwriting we did, but they should! There’s great research out there that discusses language acquisition being connected to the hands. There are lots of nerve ending in a person’s fingertips, and stimulating these the way your activity does and the way writing with a pencil / pen does are very important developmentally. Thanks for the great idea!
I was wondering if you will be doing the Super Summer Challenge again this year? I loved having the themed weeks already figured out for me. It gave me some ideas for when I wasn’t really creative during summer. My kids are finishing school today and was wondering if I would see the challenge.
Hi, Robin!! Thanks so much for writing, my friend–Candace, MaryLea, and I couldn’t get it together this year bc we have too much going on. 🙁 That being said, I am participating in Melissa & Doug’s Camp Sunny Patch, which I will write about tomorrow or Thursday.. . here’s a bit of info until I get the post up: http://blog.melissaanddoug.com/2012/05/28/introducing-melissa-dougs-camp-sunny-patch/
Hope you’ll join us, my friend! (And LUCKY you to have kids already! My kiddos don’t finish for another THREE weeks!)