Is your child ready to learn to write letters? There is a developmental path to writing. When we start teaching writing to children too young, we ignore their natural, developmentally-appropriate path.
Scissors teach wonderful skills, build the brain and body connection, and prepare kids for real-life problems. Too many parents have told me they were afraid to give their child scissors. Kids need those skills and too many today lack good fine motor skills.
There are many different approaches to teaching children to write. Most teach lowercase letters in conjunction with the uppercase letters. But this approach is flawed. Teaching children to write with capital letters first is the better strategy.
Schools today are NOT teaching children to write. Instead, they are allowing children to figure out, on their own, how to make the letters. This leads to children drawing letters instead of writing them.
What’s the difference? And why does it matter?
Imaginative play is one of the most important forms of play for children ages 3-7. While using their imaginations, children learn how to interact with the world and other people. They can problem solve, explore emotional issues, and develop cognitive skills. Here are some of my favorite toys for imaginative play.
In the quest to help children develop the skills needed to start learning to write, this toy is a surprising win! WOW Water Painting sets by Melissa and Doug are great for building hand strength and practicing good pencil grip.
From an OT point of view, board and card games are the best. Games promote fine motor skills, visual perceptual skills, planning, social skills, and problem-solving. However, as a mom, some games just aren’t fun for a wide range of ages. Here are my winners–games that work for kids (and adults) of all ages.
As an OT, I love the new interest in fidget toys. Many of them promote hand strength, increase a child’s ability to focus for longer and can even help you deal with stress. However, not all fidget toys work for everyone and some work better than others. Here is a list of some of my favorites and why.
As an occupational therapist, I cringe when I see a child being encouraged to learn to write before they have developed a proper pencil grip. Your child needs to work on developing a grasp that uses the tips of their fingers. Rock Crayons are a great way of helping your young child build the muscle strength needed for a proper pencil grip. And they are fun!