Today in the second official post at the Handwriting Help for Kids website (YAY!) I HAD to share my favorite activity to help kids learn letters. Ahem, and if you are anything like me and totally LOVE chocolate, you just might like this!
Now, taking off my "I LOVE CHOCOLATE" hat and putting on my "OT" hat, I want to share the importance of helping kids to develop a kinesthetic "feel" for letter formation.
Kinesthetic can be described as the sensation of movement in our muscles, tendons, and joints.
When we master a physical action, whether tying our shoes or kicking a soccer ball, we don't need to think about the movement anymore. It is the same with handwriting: We want our kids to automatically form letters, with the correct and efficient formation. That comes with practice and more practice - and the TRICK is that much of this practice should be done with no pencil or pen in hand.
And this is where the CHOCOLATE comes in.
What you need is a paper plate, hot chocolate powder, and a plan to practice a few simple letters or words. The child forms the letter properly, then licks his or her finger. (Okay, a tad icky I suppose, but very tasty!)
Kids love this activity, and suddenly the task of practicing an "E" or an "F" or an "H" doesn't seem too much like drudgery anymore.
(As always, be cautious of all potential food allergies.)
Happy Eating! (Oops, I mean Happy Handwriting!)
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Lisa Marnell, Occupational Therapist - Kids Master Skills