This is part 2 on this topic about Children’s Activities that Develop Handwriting Skills. Before a child is ready to write, there are significant skills that must be accomplished from infancy through the preschool years. Part 1 discussed fine motor skills. This article will cover activities that support and promote visual motor development. Practice of these skills and even the use of a light, comfortable, ergonomic pen, can increase a child’s printing and handwriting success.
Ocular Motor Control
This is how the eyes work together to follow and keep an object within your line of vision.
- Flashlight fun: With your child on his/her back, shine the flashlight from left to right, top to bottom, and diagonally and have them follow the movement with their eyes.
- Mazes: Search online or buy a maze activity book for your child to follow and find the correct path visually and with a writing instrument.
- Seek and find books: Having your child search for images in hidden picture books. There are many books of this type available in bookstores.
These activities involve accuracy in direction, placement and spatial awareness.
- Catch: Play catch with your child. Start with a larger size and as their skills improve, work toward a smaller ball. A rubber “bumpy ball” works well.
- Bean Bag Toss: Make a circle on the floor with a string, or use a hula hoop if it’s handy. Have your child stand up and toss bean bags into the circle. Gradually increase their distance.
- Balloons: While standing, have your child keep the balloon afloat in the air by hitting it up with their hand.
- Bowling: Practice hitting bowling pins with a ball using a plastic toy set. (Or, you can make your own with soda bottles and a small ball.)
- Bubbles: Bubbles are great for infants. Allow their eyes to follow them as the float around.