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How to help ds with his grip?

(21 Posts)
Misty9 Sun 18-Dec-16 19:02:44

Ds, 5, started reception this year and his grip was raised as a bit of an issue at parents evening so we started doing tweezer activities to help.
I did some letter writing with him today and he has very poor pressure and thus control of the pencil - what would help with this? He's never liked doing colouring in or anything involving holding implements.

ElizaSchuyler Sun 18-Dec-16 19:05:15

Is it that he can't put enough go pressure on to grip things or that he has poor fine motor co ordination?

Could he be hyper mobile maybe or perhaps just his motor skills arn't developed yet.

ItStillLooksLikeRainDear Sun 18-Dec-16 19:11:29

Have you tried any ergonomic pencils? Made a big difference to my son's grip and handwriting. So much better than the pencil grips too imo.

ItStillLooksLikeRainDear Sun 18-Dec-16 19:15:24 these are the ones we find to be the best.

Misty9 Sun 18-Dec-16 19:22:59

Those look good itstill thanks, will get dh to pick some up tomorrow.

I can't work out what the specific issue is - his teacher says he isn't putting enough pressure on the paper so lacks control I guess. But not sure how to help him do that! I don't think he's hyper mobile but I have wondered about dyspraxia in the past... he can play with playmobile and fiddly toys, although gets frustrated VERY easily!

mrz Sun 18-Dec-16 19:24:59

Writing isn't just about grip. Core strength and shoulder girdle mobility also important. I'd suggest monkey bars in the park

DixieWishbone Sun 18-Dec-16 19:29:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jamdonut Sun 18-Dec-16 19:34:53

Get him to practice rolling playdough into snakes. You need a fair amount of pressure to do that properly, but it's a good warm up before doing writing. Threading beads onto string needs a pincer-type grip too. Screwing up and unscrewing bolts, needs pincer and pressure as well.
These are all fine motor skills that I've done, amongst others, with children in handwriting groups.

3boys3dogshelp Sun 18-Dec-16 19:39:44

I was advised to use plasticine rather than play dough as it is firmer so a better work out for your fingers.
But he is 5, there is plenty of time for writing to improve.

sandycloud Sun 18-Dec-16 19:41:35

My son was just like this. I knew an occupational therapist and she suggested play dough, lego and puzzles. Also she suggested a white board angled up, they often have these in school. We also had those pens that you fill with water and draw on a special mat. This meant he could practice drawing letters but it needed less pressure.

eeyore2 Sun 18-Dec-16 19:44:30

We have the same problem with one of our children who is now a bit older. Physio has told us to strengthen not just the hand but also the core and shoulders by doing lots of wheel barrow races. Plus all the other stuff they say about scrunching paper, squeezing playdough etc. It is difficult because many of these activities are very boring for kids especially ones who are innately not very good at them. The wheel barrow race and playing operation have definitely helped though. As did getting him to keep a written diary during all school holidays - just one sentence a day at the beginning. Stopped him slipping back with his handwriting

mrz Sun 18-Dec-16 19:47:07

Things to remember:
Upright working surfaces promote fine motor skills. Examples of these are: vertical
chalkboards; easels for painting; flannel boards; lite bright; magnet boards (or
fridge); windows and mirrors; white boards, etc. Children can also make sticker
pictures; do rubber ink-stamping; use reuseable stickers to make pictures; complete
puzzles with thick knobs; use magna-doodle and etch-a-sketch as well. The benefits
for these include: having the child's wrist positioned to develop good thumb
movements; they help develop good fine motor muscles; the child is using the arm
and shoulder muscles.
Fine Motor Activities
Moulding and rolling play dough into balls - using the palms of the
hands facing each other and with fingers curled slightly towards the palm.
Rolling play dough into tiny balls (peas) using only the finger tips.
Using pegs or toothpicks to make designs in play dough.
Cutting play dough with a plastic knife or with a pizza wheel by holding
the implement in a diagonal volar grasp.
Tearing newspaper into strips and then crumpling them into balls. Use
to stuff scarecrow or other art creation.
Scrunching up 1 sheet of newspaper in one hand. This is a super
strength builder.
Using a plant sprayer to spray plants, (indoors, outdoors) to spray snow
(mix food colouring with water so that the snow can be painted), or melt
"monsters". (Draw monster pictures with markers and the colours will run
when sprayed.)
Picking up objects using large tweezers such as those found in the
"Bedbugs" game. This can be adapted by picking up Cheerios, small cubes,
small marshmallows, pennies, etc., in counting games.
Shaking dice by cupping the hands together, forming an empty air space
between the palms.
Using small-sized screwdrivers like those found in an erector set.
Lacing and sewing activities such as stringing beads, Cheerios,
macaroni, etc.
Using eye droppers to "pick up" coloured water for colour mixing or
to make artistic designs on paper.
Rolling small balls out of tissue paper, then gluing the balls onto
construction paper to form pictures or designs.
Turning over cards, coins, checkers, or buttons, without bringing them to
the edge of the table.
Making pictures using stickers or self-sticking paper reinforcements.
Playing games with the "puppet fingers" -the thumb, index, and middle
fingers. At circle time have each child's puppet fingers tell about what
happened over the weekend, or use them in songs and finger plays.
Place a variety of forms (eg. blocks, felt, paper, string, yarn, cereal,
cotton) on outlines
Match shapes, colour, or pictures to a page and paste them within the
Self-Care Skills
Fastening Snaps
Using a screwdriver
Locking and unlocking a door
Winding a clock
Opening and closing jars
Rolling out dough or other simple cooking activities
Washing plastic dishes
Sweeping the floor
Scissor Activities
When scissors are held correctly, and when they fit a child's hand well, cutting
activities will exercise the very same muscles which are needed to manipulate a pencil
in a mature tripod grasp. The correct scissor position is with the thumb and middle
finger in the handles of the scissors, the index finger on the outside of the handle to
stabilize, with fingers four and five curled into the palm.
Cutting junk mail, particularly the kind of paper used in magazine
subscription cards.
Making fringe on the edge of a piece of construction paper.
Cutting play dough or clay with scissors.
Cutting straws or shredded paper.
Use a thick black line to guide cutting the following:
A fringe from a piece of paper
Cut off corners of a piece of paper
Cut along curved lines
Cut lines with a variety of angles
Cut figures with curves and angles
Sensory Activities
The following activities ought to be done frequently to increase postural muscle
strength and endurance. These activities also strengthen the child's awareness of
his/her hands.
Wheelbarrow walking, crab walking
Clapping games (loud/quiet, on knees together, etc.)
Catching (clapping) bubbles between hands
Pulling off pieces of thera-putty with individual fingers and thumb
Drawing in a tactile medium such as wet sand, salt, rice, or "goop".
Make "goop" by adding water to cornstarch until you have a mixture similar
in consistency to toothpaste. The "drag" of this mixture provides feedback to
the muscle and joint receptors, thus facilitating visual motor control.
Picking out small objects like pegs, beads, coins, etc., from a tray of salt,
sand, rice, or putty. Try it with eyes closed too. This helps develop sensory
awareness in the hands.

Kit30 Sun 18-Dec-16 19:52:00

Take him to see a good children's Physio - he may or may not be dyspraxic- you can get an assessment and start exercises asap. Not all the exercises are boring and Physio can recommend the best. Otherwise look at the info provided on the website for the Dyscovery Centre in Wales.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Sun 18-Dec-16 19:59:17

For the actual writing try a Grotto Grip. They have made a huge difference to several children I know.

Before writing try warm-up exercises to connect his fingertips to his brain (yes, I know they're connected, but sometimes people need extra help).

Things like namaste hands, press together firmly. You can help by reading through his elbows. Also hands palm-down on the table, splay fingers out and stretch, then pull them into a tight fist. Repeat. Finish with relaxing the hands rather than pulling them into a fist.

Strengthening exercises:
Anything that takes the weight on his hands through his shoulders, like bear-walking on feet and hands, or lying face-down on sofa/bed/bench, then walking his hands on the floor to pull himself off. The idea is to keep the body straight for as long as possible, not flop.

Carrying heavy things like shoeboxes filled with...anything.

Climbing ladders, climbing walls, pulling himself up a slope with a rope, monkey bars, tug of war.

Hanging/taking in laundry (the clothes pegs).

Dexterity exercises:
Plasticine (better than playdo because it is harder work).
Cutting, glueing, threading, sorting little beads, picking out small toys/beads from bowls of rice/porridge oats/couscous etc.
Unknotting tangled rope.
Lay a sheet of wrapping tissue on the table and challenge him to gather it up, palm-down, by simply pulling it with all his finger-tips.

Ferrisday Sun 18-Dec-16 20:00:45

Have you thought about these?

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Sun 18-Dec-16 20:01:23

Pressing through the elbows.

Toomanycats99 Sun 18-Dec-16 20:03:25

My daughter has possible dyspraxia. One of her issues is poor pencil grip. School are currently working with different pencil shapes . She is also in an intervention group for her fine motor skills. Her writing / drawing is very messy and she avoids stuff like Lego. We are also awaiting an occupational therapy appointment after referral. She is y1. Beware in our area they don't generally take ot referrals from age 6 so if you feel it needs investigation you may want to do sooner rather then later.

Misty9 Sun 18-Dec-16 20:11:53

Wow! Thanks for all those. He's also 'learning' ukulele after school so that must be helping too? No chance of physics on the NHS around here but we might investigate private if things don't improve by Easter time maybe.

Will pass lists to dh for his holiday-home schooling this week fwink

Misty9 Sun 18-Dec-16 20:12:49

Physics?! Physio!

Misty9 Sun 18-Dec-16 20:14:05

Flipping heck, I actually meant OT anyway. Norovirus has killed my brain function...

jamdonut Sun 18-Dec-16 23:20:47

Yes plasticine...don't know why I said playdough!!!????

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