I am not a big New Year resolution maker, but I do like to take the time to set goals for myself and think about the things I want to teach my children. One topic that came to mind was writing. Many children with vision issues struggle with writing. When speaking to our OT, we talked about the fact that they need to lift their pencil many times and find the little spot it is supposed to go back on. For instance, an “E” will need someone to lift their pencil 4 times before it is completed. This is why cursive writing is fabulous for the older kids. Unfortunately, many schools are not teaching the kids cursive and when they do, it is only in 2nd or 3rd grade. So how can we support our little ones?
My suggestion is to start easy, simple and stress free. I have recently purchased the program Handwriting Without Tears for the preschool age children and have found it very easy to do, fun and educational. Using some of things I learned from this program, my discussions with our OT, and my educational background; I try to come up with additional fun ways for Elly to practice writing. These pages are easy to adjust and make yourself at home. Although they may not look like Elly is practicing writing, she is developing the skills needed to form letters correctly. When I am teaching her writing skills, I always begin with showing her how to hold the pencil correctly (the bird grip, as we call it) and demonstrating the task correctly. The great thing about these tasks is that you can use the same paper many times, just have them trace, scribble or draw with a different color each time. At the end, your paper will be a rainbow =)
Below are 3 pages at different levels of difficulty – feel free to print and use them. Often, I’ll just take a thick marker and draw them on the back of other projects so we don’t waste paper. Stickers work great too if you don’t like to draw. If I remember, I’ll try scan some others as we do them.
Easy: Find the fish and help it swim (scribble)
Medium: Help the penguin find his dad (draw a line in-between the path)
Medium 2: Trace and then color the snowman.