The following activity suggestions work on all or some of the following components needed to develop pre-printing skills. These include, hand strengthening, fine motor control, manipulation skills, bilateral hand use, and pencil grasp. Try to encourage your child to use thumb and index finger when completing these activities.
1. Sort small items, for example, sort pennies into a piggy bank. You can also sort buttons, pasta shapes, beans, etc. into ice cube trays or tupper-wear containers.
2. Have fun making pretend snakes or pretty necklaces by lacing beads, thread spools, and pasta shapes, onto pipe-cleaners, thread, rope, straws, etc.
3. Place little treasures (food or toys) into various containers that have pop-tops, screw tops or zippers to open.
4. Hide large coins in playdough for your child to find and pick out.
5. Add food colouring to big foam and play in bathtub. Have child spread cream all over tub, making designs, shapes and letters.
6. Tear up construction or tissue paper using slow movements. Crumple pieces into balls and practice throwing into a basket.
7. Make shapes or designs while playing in uncooked rice, beans, sand, finger paint, etc. Mix them all together for an interesting sensory experience.
8. Glue pasta, beans or small pieces of paper onto construction paper. You can also modify this task by peeling and sticking stickers onto a page.
9. Play commercial games such as Lite-Brite, Connect-Four, Jenga, Cards, Operation. Any games that have tokens to move about the board are also appropriate for promoting a pincer grasp when moving the tokens.
10. Use writing materials (e.g. crayons, chalk, pencils, etc) that are less than 2 inches big. This promotes a refined pencil grasp by limiting the number of fingers your child can place on the item.
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