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Easy Fine Motor Tasks to Prepare Your Child for Handwriting

Diving into handwriting before warming up is like running a marathon without stretching first. Your muscles will be stiff, your body will not move as smoothly, you will fatigue quickly, and your brain-body connection will be sluggish. But when you prepare your body by warming up the muscles, stretching the joints, and bringing awareness to your movements, your body will be in a "ready" state. Ready to run a few miles or, in our case, ready to grasp the writing tool and produce more fluid and accurate movements.

Here are some quick and easy "warm-ups" that you can do with your child to get them ready to write!

> Use tongs, clothespins, or tweezers to pick up objects. This helps wake up those tiny hand muscles and prepares fingers for a pencil grasp.

> Play with play dough or clay. Roll, pinch, and shape the dough to strengthen finger and hand muscles.

> Play a game with small pieces, such as Hi-Ho Cherry-O, Operation, or Lite-Brite. This is good practice for the fingers to manipulate small objects.

> Use scissors to cut paper or playdough. This wakes up those bigger hand muscles and gets the body ready for coordinating both hands.

> Build and take apart Legos. This warms up finger muscles and uses both sides of the body.

> String beads on a pipe cleaner or thread. This promotes coordination and grasp of the fingers.

> Do a maze or coloring page. This allows the hands to warm-up before actual letter writing occurs.

These are just a few of the many ideas you can use with your child to prepare them for handwriting. If you do tutoring sessions with Handwriting Solutions, you will see us spend about 5 minutes warming up our finger and hand muscles before we write. Getting our hands ready to write is essential for handwriting progress and success.

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