Mar 20 , 2021
Two Most Important Skills For Developing Handwriting
In our previous post, we’ve covered the importance of developing fine motor skill the palmar arches. In this post, we will be covering wrist stability and the skilled side of the hand.
Wrist stability is very important when it comes to moving your fingers with precision strength and control. It is also expected to develop by early school years and is very important for handwriting.
Activities for strengthening the wrist stability are those in which a large part of the child's body weight is actually on its hands as it moves (bear walk, crab walk etc.)
We are proposing a few wrist exercises for kids that can help with stretching and strengthening the wrist muscles. All of these will lead to a good wrist position (slightly extended and bent back) when writing.
Try some of these activities
Playing a waiter
a child carries a tray on an outstretched hand. Start with small weights and gradually increase them. It will help your child to strengthen its wrist and stretch the muscles.
tell your children that they should push and support the wall with their hands because the wall is not feeling so well that day and needs some support not to fall down. Or if that doesn’t do the trick, you can always tell them to push you, or some other adult…they will love that one for sure. With these exercises, they will not only strengthen their wrists but also their shoulder muscles.
is also a great activity. It helps with strengthening shoulder muscles, stretches out wrist muscles and develops bilateral coordination. Let your child pretend to be a soldier for a day and as a part of the soldier training they must learn how to crawl …or position chairs like a tunnel and let them crawl under the tunnel.
When your child is painting, practicing writing, coloring coloring pages or doing anything similar on paper…put the paper on a smooth vertical surface. That way they are developing a good extended wrist position without even knowing that they are practicing.
Important! You should always check the position of your child's hands. Elbows should be held below hands and not out to the side.
2.The skilled side of the hand
Is the fancy expression for the use of the thumb, index finger, and other fingers together for precision grasping.
Activities that will strengthen the muscles of the skilled side of the hand:
- Using a plant sprayer to spray plants or a food coloring solution onto the snow.
- Using tweezers to pick up Cheerios, small marshmallows etc. for counting games.
- Opening clothespins to hang up clothes or pictures on a line.
- Small child-sized paper punches which punch out different shapes. Small screwdrivers and other hand tools.
- Cutting with scissors are examples of precision activities that require efficient use of the “skilled side of the hand
- Lacing activities with Cheerios, Fruit Loops, small pieces of plastic straw, macaroni.
(Originally compiled by Loubaina Buxamusa M.Ed. OTR/L)
We would love to hear which exercises are you already doing with your child, and which ones you think you’ll be able to incorporate into your daily activities? Please comment below.
In our next post, we will cover intrinsic hand muscle development as well as bilateral hand skills and scissor skills.
If you find this post interesting, educational and fun, you are more than welcome to subscribe to our newsletter so we can keep you posted whenever a new post comes out or a new printable is available.