5 Gift Ideas To Enhance Fine Motor And Perceptual Skills

Put those video games on pause and your computers to sleep this Holiday Season and get ready for some good old-fashioned fun. Board games are a great way for families to get together, compete, laugh and have fun all while sneaking in valuable skill building time for the kids.

There are so many great classics (Sorry!, Battleship, Mastermind, Checkers, Monopoly, Clue, Boggle) that develop essential cognitive skills such as strategic thinking and planing, problem solving, cooperation, deductive reasoning, spelling, vocabulary, word and pattern recognition as well as “out of the box” thinking.

Here are five great games that, not only promote cognitive skill development, but enhance fine motor and perceptual skills as well.

 

Spot It (ages 7+) and Spot It Jr. (ages 4+)
Between any two cards there is always one and only one matching symbol. Spot it fast to win!
Develops: focus, visual perception skills, speech-language skills, and fine motor skills

spot it

Sketch It (ages 10+)
Players race to finish drawings, and then guess what the other players illustrated.
Develops: fine motor skills, spatial relationships, visual motor skills, visualization

sketch-it

Zitternix (ages 6+)
Take turns tossing the colorful die to find out which color stick to pull out of the ring but don’t be the one to make it fall!
Develops: perceptual motor skills, fine motor skills, matching and counting

zitternix game

Thin Ice (ages 5+)
Use oversized tweezers to place a wet marble on the “ice” but don’t be the player that makes all of the marbles fall through the ice!
Develops: fine motor skills and strategy

thin ice game

Simon (ages 5+)
Follow ever-increasing sequence of flashing lights and sounds to build the longest sequence you can
Develops: sequential and short term memory, eye-hand-auditory coordination, concentration and focus

simon-game2

How To Hold A Pencil Correctly

Handwriting Success Builds Confidence in School

Success with HandwritingThe kids at Scribble 2 Script are experiencing great success and I wanted to share some of the most recent feedback from our proud parents:

“Mason is doing so well in school this year and his cursive handwriting is so beautiful!  As his 2nd grade class learned how to write in cursive this year, his teachers would ask him to go around the room and help his classmates with their cursive practice as they worked their way through the alphabet.  It made him feel very special and important and for the first time, proud of his handwriting! He told me about it each time he was asked to do this.

And he is the only one in the classroom that is allowed to do his spelling tests in cursive because it is so precise and legible.  Homework has been so much better this year because of his improved writing skills.  He is able to sit and work much longer without his hand getting very tired and cramping up.  Thank you and especially Mrs. Nikki for the support and guidance that you gave him!  Hope you all have a wonderful end of the year!” -Heather Miller

 

“Thank you.  We are so pleased with Jake’s progress.  I never dreamed that we would see such success so quickly.  His attitude toward school has really improved, and his confidence has grown tremendously.”-Kathy H.

 

“Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for our daughter.  She {said the she} was really going to miss seeing you.  Aside from your skills and knowledge – which are substantial – you have an obvious gift for working with kids.  It has been truly a joy and a privilege to get to know you.”-Robert B.

 

We are SO proud of each child’s individual success and we are looking forward to continuing to help children build a solid foundation of skills for school success!

Megan Eldridge MOT, OTR/L
Founder of Scribble 2 Script

 

Opportunities To Learn Cursive Is Vital To Classroom Success

For many people, cursive sounds old fashioned and outdated.

In fact, 23 states have taken cursive out of their curriculum all together.

Not having cursive as an option is detrimental for many children who struggle with handwritten work.

I think of cursive as the amazing “do over” for kids who have messy printing.

For children who have been struggling for several years with their printing, learning cursive gives them an opportunity to write neatly with speed.

Trying to teach and reteach printing over and over without improvement is not the way to go.

A child might be able to write slowly with good habits but, most likely, they will revert right back to their old inefficient habits when they have to put their thoughts down on paper in a given timeframe.

Giving up on handwriting all together is not a viable option either as more than 50% of a child’s school day is spent writing.

Second grade is an ideal time to teach cursive as there is typically a high interest level and the workload is not as heavy; allowing time to transition to using cursive as their primary form of writing.

It is important, not only to teach proper formation and connections, but also write with speed while maintaining legibility.

If a child can write the connected cursive alphabet (lowercase), legibly, in 35-40 seconds they are ready to use cursive for classroom assignments and homework.

 

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Solving the b d Reversal Challenge

What do you do about those pesky letters b and d?

Reversing these two letters is a big concern for many families that come into our clinic.  Many beginning readers and writers struggle to distinguish between the two letters because they are so similar; unlike other letters in the alphabet that look significantly different no matter which way you look at them.

Occasional errors are common for kids between the ages of 3-7.  During this time of development, the first thing you need to do is prevent confusion before it begins.

Teaching correct letter formation is critical to prevent confusion.

When you form the letter b, be sure to start with a line first, then trace back up and around.

To form the letter d, start with a c, continue up to the top and trace back down.

Keep your pencil stuck to the paper when you write each of these letters.

If your child is 8 years old, and still reverses b and d, work to help resolve their confusion.

There are several hints and tricks to help resolve b and d reversals.  One of the things we demonstrate to children is that lowercase b is actually hiding inside of uppercase B.

A fun exercise you can do is to write out a bunch of lowercase b’s and d’s randomly on a sheet of paper. Have your child use colored pencils or markers to turn all of the lowercase b’s into uppercase B’s.  This will help them to discriminate between b and d because you can’t turn and lowercase d into an uppercase B.

Have fun and let me know how it goes!

Megan Eldridge, MOT, OTR/L
Founder of Scribble 2 Script
www.scribble2script.com

 

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STEP 3: Private instruction restores your child’s confidence and classroom success.

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