One of my main objectives as a Preschool Teacher is to prepare my students for Kindergarten. This takes on many forms. Some children may need more guidance learning to wait for a turn with a highly desired toy, while others are mastering toilet training. Some are learning how to hold a pair of scissors, and others are learning to write their full name. Kindergarten readiness has many facets.
One thing we have really been focusing on lately at La Casa Grande is the pencil grasp. This is a skill that is not learned as easily in the age of iPhones and iPads. 😉
Young children in 2021 know how to swipe and click but maybe not how to hold a pencil or crayon. Many of the activities we do pay close attention to fine motor strengthening that will then lead to the trifold grip. So, while some activities may seem silly, useless, or even time wasters to some people, I can assure you that nothing I plan is by accident!
I put out some “cutesy“ Fall sticker crafts this week, and the peeling of those stickers takes precision many preschoolers are still mastering. Tinker toys, building train tracks, duplo bricks and many other manipulatives are designed to enhance fine motor development.
Lacing is another activity in which the children have fun all the while developing their pincer grasp. Whether it’s lacing beads, lacing cards, or lacing cereal and noodles on yarn or pipe stems this is a wonderful activity! Here are some of my favorite lacing toys:
I brought out spray bottles this week, it wasn’t just because I knew it would be super cool and they’d love it. I also knew that for a child, squeezing the handle would be equal to me using my hand grip exerciser! Their brains are growing and getting stronger but so are their whole bodies.
Any smaller materials in our sensory bins are also great incentives for children to use their fine motor skills to pick them up. Some ideas are: dried beans, water beads, rocks, and packing peanuts. *Please remember when using anything small that could be a choking hazard, you need to proceed with extra caution.
And last but certainly not least, the obvious activity to encourage pencil holding skills is to give the children writing utensils right? From a paint brush to chalk, to crayons, pencils, markers, simply exposing children to the practice of holding the small objects between their index finger and thumb is probably the best way to advance this skill. 😁
When the activities I plan also start with the letter we are on, with the themed book I’ve chosen, or the month or season of the year that’s just icing on the cake.
Keep learning and keep playing!
-Teacher Stacey ♥️