Hands at PlayPosted by: June 19, 2018
Sara entered my preschool class struggling to cut with scissors, color with crayons, or string beads. Attempts to practice these skills resulted in frustration and certainly didn’t lead to improvement. While puzzling over how to help Sara, I attended a workshop presented by Dr. Christy Isbell, a pediatric occupational therapist.
“You have to go big, before going small,” was the take-away message. Balance, shoulder strength, and eye-hand coordination, are all foundational skills which have to be established before pre-writing skills. Pressuring a child to master fine motor skills before they are ready will lead to failure.
So we put the scissors aside for later and encouraged Sara to ride trikes, push doll wagons, and participate in parachute dancing. Remarkably (or predictably), without specially focusing on fine motor skills, she now is beginning to cut, draw, and string beads. Most importantly, she does it with great enthusiasm.
Find out more from Dr. Isbell in this article: Hands at Play.