Saturday, February 28, 2009

Messy (and clean) fun

Sometimes, holding a pencil is just too much for a little one. Crayons and markers are nice alternatives, but if a child is just not there yet with fine motor development, then you may need to think more creatively.

Children can learn to "draw" in many ways that bypass the fine motor requirements of grasping a writing instrument. On a hot day, they can "paint" with water and sponges on a concrete driveway or sidewalk. The letters don't last long, allowing for repeated fun in the same place. Or try this alternative--shaving cream on a place mat. In this case, I formed the letter in the shaving cream first, my daughter traced it a couple of times, then "erased" my letter and formed the letter on her own. We had a blast!

We've done the same thing with shapes as well. I like it because it gets the placemats nice and clean. You could easily do the same thing on the walls in the bathroom during bath time. What else might be fun? Whipped cream? Pudding? I'd love to hear more suggestions for ways to "write" without writing. Enjoy!


  1. Cal's O/T had Cal write and draw on a wall mirror using shaving cream, and encouraged us to do the same thing at home. His teachers also helped by letting him write on a chalkboard with a paintbrush and colored water.

    I am constantly amazed at all the neat tricks we learn from his O/T about fine motor skills and writing! At his appointment a week ago, she gave him a button to hold, pressed into this palm by his bottom two fingers, so he would have a better grasp on his pencil when he wrote and more overall strength coming from the right areas while he was writing. Neat!

    Cal will be 6 in May and Walker will be 4 in April, so I will definitely be back to read more. Thank you for sharing this great information, Sarah! :)

  2. Sarah, great info! I can't wait to try some of these with Grace - she's 31/2 now and eager to learn to write.