Young children learn by moving their bodies.  As we focus on the development of student's school skills, it is essential that we follow a developmentally  appropriate sequence of skill acquisition.  Many families feel that children who can't write need to be drilled with workbooks and writing tasks.  To the contrary, they usually need more gross motor experiences first.  Remember that your child should perceive this as fun, and not work.


Upper Body Strength and Stability

• Wheelbarrow walking on hands with adult holding child’s feet
• Pushing weighted objects
• Climbing on playground equipment
• Pouring water from a pitcher into a cup
• Use spray foam bottles to spray letters, shapes or patterns on the bathtub wall.  Then use small paint rollers or large diameter brushes to erase and start again.
• Hang a balloon on a string and hit with a foam bat or paddle.
• Play games or watch TV while prone (on tummy)
• Paint, color or draw on an easel
• Go swimming even if they just go in the water and splash around


Wrist Stability

• Floor activities including puzzles, donkey kicks animal walk games
• Working with finger paints, fat markers, thick paint brushes or street chalk at an easel
• Put pegs on a pegboard
• Etch-a-sketchMagna doodle

Activities to Promote Grasping Skills

• Play with finger puppets
• Put pennies in a piggy banks
• Color with short fat crayons
• Draw on the driveway with thick sidewalk chalk
• Make a bracelet using macaroni
• Use spray bottles to water the plants
• Write letters, shapes and numbers in wet sand
• Cut straws, play dough and paper with scissors
• Have your child help seal zip lock bags
• Practice putting the letters of his her name in order with alphabet cereal (using finger tweezers)
• Make shapes and letters out of putty and play dough
• Have your child put the letters of his or her name in order on the refrigerator with magnetic letters.
• Using the toy Barrel of Monkeys, have your child link the monkeys (with the adult holding to top monkey) in high kneeling position

Oral Motor Activities

• Sip pudding though a straw
• Use different kinds of crazy straws to sip juice, JellO, pudding or milk shakes
• Blow bubblesBlow cotton balls into container using a straw
• Make funny faces with a mirror in front of your child
• Practice blowing whistles and other fun blowing toys that can be found at Big Party