FUN GRASPING ACTIVITIES
A parent pop into our nursery today with her child, she will be enrolling her child into the Fs1 class, as my director was giving her a tour into the classes, she said ‘’my child cannot hold her pencil properly’’ and my director reply don’t you worry that”s why we are here, we will support her and soon you will be glad you enrolled her here
Afterwards i thought why not post a blog about this; as many children are having this challenge and parents are thinking of ways to support them so they can bloom like their peers.
Before i introduce you to activities that could help support your children in their life long journey of pencil gripping it’s important that you have understanding of the different stages of the pencil grasp.
Below are the stages
Stages of pencil grasp
As children grows they will naturally hold their pencils in different ways,the ways they hold their pencils/ crayons depend solely oh how READY their Shoulder and arm muscles are. Most children will develop an efficient pencil grasps by using the following grasps
when a child initially picks up a pencil/crayon with their closed fist it’s said to be the fisted grasp and it’s the first stage of pencil gripping.
This typically occurs around 1 to 1 & half years of age,they tend to scribble using whole arm movement from their shoulder .
it’s the second stage in pencil gripping and often occur at age 2 to 3years, . At this stage children begin to develop more control over their shoulders and arm muscles,they will begin to hold their pencil with their finger with their hand facing downward towards the paper with their wrist slightly bent forward towards the little finger,they move just their forearm and initiates drawing a circle, can copy a line.
Static tripod or quadrupod grasp
This is the third stage of pencil gripping, at this stage children moves from pincer grasps to holding their pencils with three fingers( the index finger,middle finger and thumb) or four finger( index finger,middle finger,ring finger and the thumb),using the fourth finger can provide more support to children to hold their pencil/crayon and its static as the finger do not move independently as movement is initiated from the wrist,their finger is only slightly bent,can draw a person with body,then arms …
Dynamic Tripod grasp
This is the last stage of pencil grasping, at this stage , children tripod grasp will matured to a dynamic grasp, they will develop ability to hold precisely with the tips of the thumb and index finger resting also against the middle finger(the way to hold a pen),wrist is only slightly bent, the fingers will now move independently and allow more precise drawing and writing. Could draw circles and draw a more recognizable person.
These four stages are common in pencil grasping , putting pencils into little hand before they are ready may lead to immature pencil grasp which is not advisable, the best thing you can do is to support your children through this stages with lot of fun age appropriate activities which will help them develop their upper body,shoulder,arms and wrist muscles.
So here are couple of fun activities you can engage children to support them
10 fun grasping activities
The following are activities that lays good foundation for finger grasping
All of the squishing, pinching, rolling and squeezing help to strengthen all the muscles in the fingers and hands.click here to see how to make play dough
Make a stress ball, and help keep your children fingers busy, the child can fidget and increase grip strength at the same time. Watch out for my upcoming blog on how to make a stress ball.
Put some water and sponges in a bowl and let your child squeeze out the water from the sponges into another bowl.
children love slime,let them join you in making the slime as all the stirring, mixing and kneading helps to strengthen the muscles in the hands.
Children can help with kneading bread dough, using a garlic press, rolling out cookie dough, peeling vegetables and more. All of these helps to increase grip strength.
Digging in the dirt, shovel sand, build a castle, climb a tree, use monkey bars – all of these helps to strengthen children muscles.
Fill the spray bottle with some water and let children water the plant, or wipe the glasses ,children in my class particularly enjoy this, also you can put some color into the spray and let them do a color spray activity which will be more fun!
Engaging children with puzzles will also help strengthen their finger muscles.
Making beads help children in their fine motor skill developing, provide beads and thread and let them have fun strengthening their finger.just ensure the bead is age appropriate.
CUTTING WITH SCISSORS
This is another great activity you can involve your children in, just ensure to provide them with age appropriate scissor and monitor them while cutting, this activities is great in monitoring their level of grasping as you will be able to see when they finally can hold appropriately and cut out shape nicely from news paper