Helping kids of all ages to live a more active life through FUNctional movement.
Pre scissor and writing skills are skills that pave the way for fine motor dexterity and functional skills relating to academic participation. Without enough hand strength and dexterity, your child may have difficulty holding school tools properly and coordinating the movements required in order to use them. Getting a start on these BEFORE your child heads to school will help to reduce possible frustration and increase their participation in learning activities.
There are several skills that are needed before a child can be expected to use a pair of scissors. These include building hand-eye coordination, finger strength and fine motor control.
Pre scissor activities help with building and refining small muscles in the hand and fingers which help to promote independence with functional tasks.
Try these pre-scissor skill activities:
-use tweezers or tongs to pick things up and put them down (eg: beads, pieces of cereal, pompoms, etc)
-tearing paper into smaller bits (this encourages bilateral coordination)
-squeezing, squishing and manipulating PlayDoh or other kinds of putty/clay
Just like for using scissors, certain skills are required before kids can write. The pre-writing skills are the building blocks for developing handwriting abilities. These skills encompass hand strength, hand movement control and spatial awareness. Furthermore, good postural control and core strength are beneficial, as are the ability to cross midline and proper pencil grip.
Try these pre-writing activities:
– tracing letters in shaving cream or creating letters out of PlayDoh
– colouring and tracing shapes, connect the dots, lines using a pencil or crayons
– picking up small objects out of a sensory bin (rice/dried beans) to promote pincer grasp
– model the behaviour or activity (demonstrate how to do the activities)
– Encourage play and celebrate creativity and the effort
– practice regularly
-other multi-sensory play
– provide proper tools such as safe scissors, thick crayons, and easy to grip pencils. These can vary in shape and size.
– overall body strength and coordination can be improved by playing at the park (on play structures) more often.
Building and working on these skills will also benefit your child in other ways. The coordination and strength developed with the activity ideas above will also help with self-feeding, using zippers, buttons and other ties. Eventually they will also help with tying shoe laces and playing sports.
If your child is struggling, start practicing some of the activities above daily. If that doesn’t work, consider getting some help from someone with the right skills; this could be a Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist with Pediatric expertise, like the team here at Play On Pediatric Therapy in Barrhaven, Ottawa, Ontario. We even have a fun program aimed at helping kids with these skills – the Zipper Club.
Happy cutting & writing!