According to occupational therapist Stacey Smith, much of our dexterity involves hand, arm, and shoulder strength developed at a young age. The answer to your woes could be as easy as a crab walk race across the yard or snapping beads together to form a necklace. Here are a bunch of great tips and ideas for encouraging the development and strengthening of preschoolers' hands, arms, and shoulders in preparation for writing. For any mother out there with little ones, take note-- these tricks will save you while waiting in a doc's office or out at a restaurant!
Toys for dexterity:
*sand, rice bins, *shaving cream/funny foam, *finger tracing in different mediums (e.g. baggie of hair gel), *bingo markers, *fastener toys, *play doh/theraputty with rolling pins and cookie cutters, *animal walks--crab, bear, wheelbarrow, *jumping jacks, *coins in a piggy bank, *clothespins, *hammering golf tees into styrofoam, *finger paint, *wooden beads and string
Toys on the go:
*color change markers, *magna doodle, *Wikki sticks, *lacing, *snap/Pop
beads, *stamps, *crayon rocks/animal markers, *stickers, *tweezers/chopsticks, *spin tops, *Fun Dip/Pixie Sticks, *"Wilson" the hungry tennis ball (made by cutting a slit in a tennis ball--kids squeeze to make the mouth open)
Favorite Home Games:
*Thin Ice, *Cooties, *Knex, *Don't Break The Ice, *Ants in the Pants, *Hi Ho Cherry-O, *Memory, *Whac-a-mole, *Trouble, *Hungry Hungry Hippos, *Let's Go Fishing, *Zingo (5+),