Category Archives: Fine motor skills

How to teach your left handed child to write confidently – 12 simple steps

How to teach your left handed child to write in 12 easy steps.
How to teach your left handed child to write in 12 easy steps.

How to teach your left handed child to write confidently in 12 simple steps.

For a right-hander to teach a left-handed child to write can be daunting but a few simple steps should set your child on a very positive path to successful handwriting.

1. Directionality: Most people write from left to right naturally, lefties do the opposite, moving from right to left. Mirror writing or writing backwards can occur regularly in left-handers.

To help reinforce the left to right direction of handwriting and reading add a visual cue by drawing a thick green start/go line down the left hand side of their paper and tell them to drive off from the left ‘go’ side to the right hand side of the page.

When reading to your left-handed child run follow the line of words being read with your finger, this will continue to reinforce the left-right direction.

The perfect pencil grip for left-handers - the tripod grip
The perfect pencil grip for left-handers – the tripod grip

2. Observe and correct the pencil grip: The pencil should be held in a ‘tripod’ grip (pinch pencil with index finger and thumb, rest it on the middle finger) with the pencil held at around a 45 degree angle pointing toward their left shoulder. This will help with dynamic finger movements and proper wrist position making it less likely that your child will hook their wrist further down the road, a common trait in lefties. Holding the pencil about 1.5cm above the tip of the pencil allows your child to see what they’re writing and reduces smudging.

Stabilo back to school pencil pack. Left Handed. Includes Stabilo Easy Ergo 3.15mm pencil, Stabilo Easy Graph Colour pencils, 3 Stabilo Graphite Pencils, Stabilo sharpening 3 - in - 1 sharpening box and Stabilo eraser. Value ergonomic pencil grab and go pack, just add the pen of your choice.
Stabilo Left Handed back to school pencil pack. Made to encourage the tripod grip in left-handers. Available in blues or pinks.

If your child finds it difficult remembering where to hold their pencil you can mark the pencil with a permanent marker. Stabilo make left-handed pencils with notches cut out for correct finger positioning which your child may find helpful.

Gripping their pencil too tightly is a common problem in lefties – use of chunky pencils or grips is useful for these children.

Crayon Rocks 8 Primary Colours in a blue velvet bag
Crayon Rocks help lefties avoid gripping their pencil with four fingers and strengthen the hand to support efficient handwriting

Left-handed children often cram an extra finger onto their pencil for extra support which can compromise fluidity and reach. Start young lefties off with Crayon Rocks – they can only be held with three fingers – no room for more! Lots of drawing and colouring in with these and your lefty should be pencil grip ready!

3. Letter formation: In general, when drawing circles righties draw them anti-clockwise, lefties go clockwise. Make sure your child understands the correct direction for forming the anti-clockwise letters ‘a, c, d, f, g, o, q’ and ‘s’ to aid handwriting speed, fluidity and better preparing them for cursive handwriting.

WriteLEFT pencil grip and trainer. Teaches the correct pencil grip by providing visual and tactile cues to finger positioning. Fun way to learn or correct a child's pencil grip.
WriteLEFT pencil grip and trainer. Teaches the correct pencil grip by providing visual and tactile cues to finger positioning. Fun way to learn or correct a child’s pencil grip. Available in 3 sizes.

Most lefties prefer to ‘pull’ their little lines (Letters ‘f’ and ‘t’ in the lower case and ‘A, E, F, H, J and T’ in the upper case) backwards to cross their letters in order to avoid tearing the paper, most left handed handwriting books and worksheets use this method. Work out what works best for your child, it’s worth experimenting with. There are no right or wrongs with this but if you are going to use left handed handwriting worksheets that indicate right to left on their little lines stick with right to left crossing to avoid confusion and frustration.

Keep handwriting activities fun and organise them at times when your child is most willing and alert.

Left hand writing skills handwriting practise books
Left hand writing skills handwriting practise books

Often handwriting books and worksheets position the handwriting example on the left hand side of the page leaving a blank to fill in on the right hand side. The example is soon obscured by left handers and makes correct copying tricky. Choose ‘Left Hand Writing Skills Books 1, 2 and 3’ handwriting workbooks by Mark and Heather Stewart. Click here to buy.

4. Word spacing: The finger spacing rule often used in schools ties lefties up in knots! Putting their right finger at the end of the word they have just written and then crossing over the top of this with their left hand to write the next word does not work. We suggest leaving a space big enough to write a letter ‘o’ between words.

The importance of providing left-handed stationery for your lefty.
The importance of providing left-handed stationery for your lefty.

5. Left handed equipment is important: Buy pencils, scissors, pencil sharpeners and rulers designed for lefties. Pencil grips designed specifically for left-handers will teach your child the correct grip.

Left handed scissors
Left handed scissors for younger children in three colour-ways, click HERE
Left handed scissors for older children
Left handed scissors for older children in three colour-ways, click HERE

Scissors: Regular scissor skill practise will help to develop the fine motor skills needed for effective handwriting. It’s important for lefty children to use left-handed scissors because of the way the blade is orientated; it allows kids to see where they are cutting and lefty scissors cut cleanly rather than folding or bending the paper. When teaching scissor skills it is important to encourage them to use their right hand as a ‘helper’ to guide the paper whilst they cut with their left hand.

Stabilo Easygraph Easycolors colouring pencils. Pack of 12 left handed pencils plus free left handed pencil sharpener. Popular pencil grip for dyspraxic children.
Stabilo  left handed colouring pencils plus free left handed pencil sharpener.

If your lefty is asked to use right handed scissors they will find that the cutting blade is positioned on the wrong side and will often miss the cutting line by the width of the blade, pain can be caused as the left-hander tries to force the blades together (pushing down slightly diagonally with their thumb to achieve the required pressure) and can cause neck ache as the child tilts their head to get a better view of their cutting line. In conclusion, right-handed scissors for a left-handed child are a definite no, no. Please invest in a decent pair of left-handed scissors.

Left handed ruler
Left handed ruler for accuracy, comfort and speed

Why do you need a left-handed ruler? Right handed rulers can be awkward to use for our lefties. Left-handers naturally draw their lines from right to left pulling their pencil across the page. A ruler that is scaled from right to left supports this and makes measuring and drawing more comfortable, accurate and faster.

Left handed pencil sharpener
Left handed pencil sharpener

Why the need for a left handed pencil sharpener? The natural motion for a left hander to sharpen a pencil is anti-clockwise. Left handed pencil sharpeners have the blade position and design reversed so that your child can hold the pencil in their left hand and turn it anti-clockwise in a natural motion.

So you think your left-handed book provides drawing and cutting practise for your pre-schooler helping them to develop their fine motor skills ready for handwriting. Lots of tips for raising your left-handed child, establishing good lefty techniques that will benefit your child throughout their lives.
So you think they’re left-handed book provides drawing and cutting practise for your pre-schooler helping  develop their fine motor skills ready for handwriting. Lots of tips for raising your left-handed child, establishing good lefty techniques that will benefit your child throughout their lives.

 

Handwriting programmes for your left-hander: For younger children ‘So, you think they’re left-handed?’ Writing skills book by Mark and Heather Watson contains photocopiable scissor skills activities aimed at left handed children with cutting angles designed especially for left handers. It contains pencil patterns and activities that will well-prepare your child for beginning to form their letters with ease. For children who are ready to start writing their letters choose ‘Left Handed Writing Skills’ handwriting workbooks by Mark and Heather Stewart. They produce a cd rom which enables schools to print off handwriting exercises for their students. The Morrells handwriting books support the left handed writer also with clear view letter formation and join examples that are not obscured by the left handed writer.

Left-handed writing schools c.d. rom
Left-handed writing skills c.d. rom

6. Seating position: If your child is sitting at a desk next to a rightie, have your child sit on the left so that they don’t bump elbows. Always allow enough space in their work areas for elbows and arm movements to be supported.

Stabilo's fabulous left-handed fountain pens. The nib is angled to allow a smooth flow of the ink across the page prevent paper snagging and tearing. The grip is moulded to fit left-handers in a tripod grip.
Stabilo’s fabulous left-handed fountain pens. The nib is angled to allow a smooth flow of the ink across the page preventing paper snagging and tearing. The grip is moulded to fit left-handers in a tripod grip.

Posture: It is important that your child is positioned correctly to support their handwriting as it will affect how they use their hands to write. A stable core/trunk will encourage good arm control. Ensure:

  • Your child’s feet are flat on the floor
  • Their bottom is right back in the seat and should reach forward to just behind your child’s knees
  • Their hips knees and ankles should all be at a 90 degree angle to each other.
  • The seat provides support in the back high enough to reach just below your child’s shoulder blades.
  • The table reaches to just above their elbow when seated
  • The chair is pulled quite close to the table allowing a small gap in front of their tummy to enable a slight forward lean with a straight back over their writing page. A sloped writing board will stop your child from leaning too far over the page.
  • Adopt the correct paper positioning for your left handed child (See below)

7. Smudges: Most left-handed children make smudge marks as their fist moves across the page, it’s important that you let your child know this is okay. In the early stages it’s just important to get them started confidently. Look for smudge free pencils and pens. Check for pencil and paper positioning as this can considerably reduce smudging.

Left-handed visio pen
Left-handed Visio pen gives an increased field of vision of the writing line. The ‘neck’ of the pen prevents the left-hand from  dropping too low onto the paper and prevents smudging.
Yoropen has proved hugely popular with left-handers
Yoropen is  hugely popular with left-handers

If smudging is beginning to affect your child’s self-confidence try a Yoropen, Yoropencil or Maped Visio pen. They have ‘necks’ that prevent your child’s hand from dropping too low onto the paper and give an increased field of vision so that your child can see what they are writing more easily.

8. Paper positioning: Ask your child to position their paper on their left side, as it will allow him/her to see it clearly when they write. Once they have written across the first line of writing to the far right of their page their left writing hand should be either directly in front of their midline or just slightly to their left. This should enable a smooth and comfortable hand movement across the page and allows them to keep their wrist straight whilst writing. It prevents smudging and allows your child to see what they are writing.

In the early stages with your child’s agreement, cut the bottom right hand corner of their paper off diagonally and teach them to line this edge parallel to the edge of their table or desk. This angle enables them to see the writing line better preventing their hand from ‘hooking’ to see what they are writing.

Alternatively you could place a sticker or strip of masking tape on the desk as a reminder of where the top of the paper should be.

Write well mat visually aids your left-handed child in their paper alignment, letter formation reinforcement and wrist position.
Write-well mat visually aids your left-handed child in their paper alignment, letter formation reinforcement and wrist position.

The Write-Well mat can be used at home or school and shows in a very visual child-friendly way how to position the paper and the wrist/hand. They last forever as they come in a quality encapsulation.

9. Left- handers should use their right hand to support their writing: Even though your child is left-handed it’s important that they still use their right ‘helper’ hand to assist with their handwriting. Teach your child to stabilise their paper using their right hand. The more stable the paper and body position the better the handwriting.

10. Copying: When setting a copying task place books above or on the right of their writing paper so that they can see what they are copying.

Often handwriting books and worksheets position the handwriting example on the left hand side of the page leaving a blank to fill in on the right hand side. The example is soon obscured by the left-handers’ arm and makes correct copying very tricky, leading to more mistakes and taking more time to complete – this is really unfair to lefties. Ensure your school have handwriting worksheets specifically designed for left-handers.

11. Help your child to verbalise their handedness: On occasion well-intentioned temporary teachers or teaching assistants may ask your child to switch their pencil to their other hand, if your child can verbalise their handedness it should avoid any problems.

12. Talk to your child’s teacher about their left-handedness: This is important as it will enable your child’s teacher to plan appropriate seating arrangements, positioning of paper for drawing and writing and for provision of appropriate materials which should include left handed scissors, chunky triangular pencils and crayons and handwriting workbooks which have the handwriting example above or to the right of the area for the child to copy on. Some pencil grips and a left-handed ruler would be beneficial too.

How to teach your left-handers to write successfully
How to teach your left-handers to write successfully

General understanding of left-handed writers: Whilst right-handers move their right hand across the page when writing, pulling their pen along with them, seeing everything they’ve written, the left-hander is going to have to push their pen or pencil over the page which is harder to control, their hand then covers up what they’ve just written. Right-handers don’t smudge their work and the binding down the middle of the book doesn’t get in their way. Often left-handed children develop their own strategies to overcome the lefty challenges often adopting uncomfortable hand positions resulting in writing fatigue, illegibility and a messy smudged page.

The Stabilo easy buddy fountain pen is our preferred choice for children transitioning from their pencils.
The Stabilo easy buddy fountain pen is our preferred choice for children transitioning from their pencils, grip suited to left handers

Is your child left-handed? It is very important to remember that hand dominance is not fully developed until the ages of 5 or 6. It is important not to force your child to be left handed, provide them with plenty of activities to engage both hands until their natural hand dominance is clear to see.

Hope this has helped! Please share your tips and pictures with us! Send them to: fantasticdys@aol.com or leave a comment below.

Teaching your dyspraxic child how to tie their shoe laces – over 30 tips, videos and products to help.

Teaching your dyspraxic child how to tie their shoelaces.

30+ tips, videos and products to help teach your child how to tie their shoes successfully:

  • As with most fine motor skills teach your child to tie shoelaces
    How to teach your child to tie their laces
    How to teach your child to tie their laces

    one step at a time, let them master that stage, then teach the next.

  • A little known trick is to use a double twist to get started as it stops the laces from slipping and coming undone – especially good when your child cannot tie laces tightly (put one lace over and under the other twice before forming a bow).
  • Start to learn how to tie your shoelaces by sitting comfortably and practise with a wooden shoe or a shoe on the table facing away from you so that it’s in the position that your own shoe would be in if you bent down to tie it, much more preferable to learning whilst uncomfortably reaching down to tie your shoes.
  • Invite your child to hold one end of the shoestring in each hand. Everything you tell them to do, you should also do so that they can copy you.
  • Make sure the laces are long enough before to start!
  • Do you need to change the laces in your shoes? replace thin laces with firmer, slightly thicker laces that are easier to grip. Synthetic shoelaces can be slippy to use, select a natural cotton lace as they provide better grip.
  • If you are demonstrating, sit to the side of your child so they can see you tying your laces at the same angle that they are tying theirs. If you are demonstrating how to tie them whilst sat at the table you can stand behind your child and reach around them to the shoe that is directly in front of them so that they really do get the best perspective and can copy more easily.
  • Read instructions and play videos to yourself first so that you are brimming with confidence before demonstrating to your child.
  • The bunny ear method (two loop knot) worked for my son, stage by stage:

  • The bunny ears method helps your child tie a square knot, one of the easiest knots to learn. The steps to the bunny method:
  1. Fold each end of the lace into a single “bunny ear.” You can hold the “ears” in place between your thumb and pointer finger on each hand.
  2. Cross the bunny ears so that they form an “X” in the air.
  3. Loop the bottom bunny ear over and through the top bunny ear. This will create a second knot.
  4. Pull the bunny ears out to the side away from the shoe. This will create a square knot that will not easily come undone and will hold the shoe in place.
  • If you haven’t tried the new Lace’mup yet we would highly recommend it, for just £3 you can’t go wrong and lasts long enough to be passed down to the next in line! Children can often get to the stage of making the rabbits ears but then it’s all fingers and thumbs, sad faces and lost laces thereafter. This clever little device holds the ears whilst your child masters tying them together to finish the bow. Once tied you just pull it away from the laces and hey presto! shoelaces tied.
The easiest way to teach your child how to tie their shoelaces - lace'mups
Simple, 4-step way to teach your child how to tie their laces. Takes the frustration out of learning to tie their laces
  • This handy gem of simplicity has been transforming children’s lives. One Dyspraxic mum wrote: “I bought a Lace’mup for my daughter who is Dyspraxic and therefore struggles with laces. She can’t wear the shoes she wants to wear. It’s only been in our house a day or so but instantly she can tie her shoes. She can now buy the shoes she wants and is already looking online at lace up boots.”
Step by step simple instructions on how to effectiveley use your lace'mup for stress free shoelace tying skills.
Step by step simple instructions on how to effectiveley use your lace’mup for stress free shoelace tying skills.
  • Lace’mups video

  • Try a lacing card using pipecleaners for laces (tie two different coloured ones together to help your child master the steps) helps
    Thick, sturdy lacing cards in beautiful designs with laces to help child master their shoe lacing skills
    Thick, sturdy lacing cards in beautiful designs with laces to help child master their shoe lacing skills

    the laces to stay in place and provides more stability whilst they learn to tie the knots and loops.

  • Reinforce learning by having your child verbalise the steps as they go.
  • Some parents have found colouring one end of the shoe lace another colour with a fabric pen quite helpful for visual instruction. This really helps when your child struggles with left right confusion, you can use colour instruction instead.
  • Tying shoe laces requires a level of dexterity most kids don’t possess until they’re between five and seven, so try not to start before they are ready.
  • Tying shoelaces requires not only good  fine motor skills, it
    Handy little fine motor skills board helps prepare your child for independence in dressing and learning how to tie their shoes in a fun way
    Handy wooden fine motor skills board helps prepare your child for independence in dressing and learning how to tie their shoes in a fun way

    requires good visual perception, good hand eye coordination, bimanual hand use (bilateral coordination), tactile perception, and hand strength. You might need to practise these skills first to enable shoe tying success later.

  • If your child has poor proprioception or poor tactile perception their ability to know what their fingers are doing without being able to see them is a challenge for them. There is a lot of ‘feeling’ going on when tying shoe laces. Choose a more tactile shoe lace to improve the ‘feel’.
  • Draw notches along the lace in different colours with a fabric pen so that your child knows where to fold the lace for the right sized ‘ears’ or loops.
  • Avoid left, right instructions: use the colour names of the laces if you are using two different coloured laces or say… pick up the lace with the hand you use for writing.
  • Practise with lots of alternatives to laces if they are finding laces difficult to manage: wikki stix, wire-edge ribbon, pipe-cleaners etc.
  • I have always found that it helps to reinforce the learning of each stage if I get the child to act as a teacher and teach me the stage they have just learned, or they can teach it to teddy or a sibling, it gives them such a confidence booster too.
  • The Wood Lacing shoe is a great practice tool, it
    Wooden lacing shoe - stable eyelets and a quality lace supports confidence building when learning to tie their shoes.
    Wooden lacing shoe – stable eyelets and a quality lace supports confidence building when learning to tie their shoes.

    has cheery bright colours and stiffer laces than the ones typically found on shoes.  Practice on the model before moving to your child’s real shoe.

  • Prepare your child mentally for the task beforehand – it is a challenging activity that they won’t master in the first few tries. Practice several times a week to reduce frustration and improve success.
  • Your child does need to be able to master the pincer grip and have reasonably good finger dexterity to be able to tie their shoe laces effectively and so plenty of pencil grip work (see our other blog on this) would really help.
  • Now this video I like – it  makes it look so easy using the loop method and would help if your child is struggling with sequencing difficulties:

  • Your child will always look for the easier route. Untie your child’s shoelaces every night  to make sure they can’t just push their foot into the shoe that’s still tied. The daily practise of tying helps them to learn more quickly.
  • Some therapists use a technique called backward chaining which can be really helpful.  You teach the last step first – for shoe tying you would first teach how to pull a bow tight.  Once the child masters this step you work your way backwards through the steps of shoe tying, until all the steps have been introduced.  Backward chaining is rewarding for children, as they always end with the finished result!
  • We saved learning to tie shoelaces until the long summer holiday when there were no time constraints and every morning whilst fresh and willing, we would work on a stage of lacing, photograph it and stick it up on the wall for visual reinforcement. We’d use a wall chart to show progress and earn rewards and by the end of the 8 weeks the skill was in place. Not the speediest, but he could do it.
  • Moving to senior school means getting changed even faster for sport,
    Elasticated shoe laces and lace locks are a real help.
    Elasticated shoe laces and lace locks are a real help.

    switching to an elastic shoe lace with lace lock for football and rugby boots will help. It’s not giving up, it’s helping your child to keep up with the pace and keeps their stress levels down – the move from Primary to Secondary school is a big step – every little aid helps.

  • Incentivise your child before starting your shoe tying programme – have them identify a pair of shoe or trainers that they would really like to wear, this helps them to keep a positive focus throughout the programme.
  • Don’t worry even Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe struggled to tie his shoelaces!
  • If you have been practising for some time and are having little success it might be advisable to consult an Occupational Therapist who will be able to identify any underlying reasons that may be causing the difficulty.
  • If laces remain a problem , use Velcro fastening shoes or purchase some elastic laces.

Good luck, we’d love to hear how you are getting on!

Teaching dyspraxic children how to hold and use their cutlery and choosing the right cutlery

Teaching your dyspraxic child how to master their cutlery starts with their posture and seating position, this affects the way they eat as much as the cutlery they use:

Cutlery skills and the best cutlery for children with dyspraxia or DCD
Cutlery skills and the best cutlery for children with dyspraxia or DCD
  • Being comfortable to eat is very important to a dyspraxic – often eating can be a tiring process, trying to eat whilst slipping around on a chair therefore becomes an even bigger challenge.
  • Posture: Feet should be flat on the floor and so you may need to put some phone books under their feet. The chair must be supportive and not slippy.

 

  • Use a sheet of Dycem
    Dycem sheet for stabilising plates, bowls and even makes seats non-slip!
    Dycem sheet for stabilising plates, bowls and even makes seats non-slip!
    Gymnic movin sit cushion aids posture for eating and handwriting. The sensory surface often calms children.
    Gymnic movin sit cushion aids posture for eating and handwriting. The sensory surface often calms children.

    under their bottoms or if they are slouching at the table then look at a Gymnic movin’ sit cushion which aids posture and also calms children with ADHD and Sensory challenges.

  • The chair height must be appropriate for the table height (The Gymnic cushion helps to raise them up nicely).
  • Once they are sitting comfortably provide them with a wet face cloth so that if they are sensitive to touching food they can wipe it off straight away, have a little plate to the side so that if something offends them in the extreme they can remove it from their main plate and in some cases they may want to cover it over with their face cloth and pretend it’s not there.
  • Pop a little piece of Dycem under your child’s plate/bowl to stop them slipping around the table – again, looking for ways all the time to reduce the effort your child is needing to put in to eat.

How to teach your dyspraxic child to hold and use their cutlery:

Practise away from meal times to get started.

  • Begin by using a knife only, no fork. Ideally start on a flat chopping board and as skills progress put the playdoh roll onto a plate and practise some more that way. Encourage your child to hold the knife with the first finger resting on top of the knife (mark the point with Tippex).
  • Make a roll in playdoh, hold the roll with one hand just beside where the cut is to be made, keeping the fingers a safe distance from the knife. Have your child place the knife on the roll beside their other hand (sensible distance from fingers!) and have them cut through the roll. Practice putting the knife down in-between cuts so that they can successfully find their grip each time, repeat until 5-6 cuts have been made. Cut with the knife using a sawing action – not the stab and drag that many Dyspraxics prefer. Once knife cutting (sawing) is mastered it’s time to introduce the fork.
  • Again, demonstrate how to hold the fork with their pointer resting on top of the fork (mark with Tippex). Say to them that their fork is going to do the work that their hand did when they held the food when practising knife work. The fork will allow their hands to stay clean and prevent them from cutting their fingers (it all needs explaining to our Dyspraxic kids). Again with a Playdoh roll etc. ask your child to pick up only the fork and have them push it into the roll near to where they want to make their first cut. Holding the roll still with their fork have them pick up their knife and saw cut through the piece. Make longer rolls which will provide more cutting practise, returning the cutlery each time to ensure they have the grip mastered. Once you have progressed to a plate place a little Dycem under the plate to keep it from moving.
  • First practise with Playdoh, toast, bananas with or without their skins, Plasticine (offers more resistance than Playdoh), cut chocolate bars into chunks then progress to typical lunchtime food for cutting practise – sausages, fish fingers, carrots, chips.
  • If you have used specialist dyspraxia Cutlery to master the knife and fork process then I would keep the plasticine practise going but offer a range of different knives and get them used to other cutlery too so that after a while they can switch away from the supportive cutlery and use the school cutlery like every one else. It might be an idea to ask the school to borrow a set of their cutlery for practise at home.

Choosing The Best Cutlery for children with Dyspraxia

  • Doddl cutlery – I especially love their knife for learning to cut
    Ergonomic cutlery set for correct finger positioning and development of fine motor skills. Ideal for children who are struggling to master their cutlery.
    Ergonomic cutlery set for correct finger positioning and development of fine motor skills. Ideal for children who are struggling to master their cutlery.

    through food. Their cutlery encourages the pincer grip which will help develop the grip for handwriting in later years. Just launched in the UK. For children with smaller hands, ages 12 months+

  • Fantastic Dyspraxic’s Children’s Dyspraxia Cutlery, good
    Cutlery for children with dyspraxia
    Fantastic Dyspraxic’s cutlery for children with dyspraxia

    ergonomic design with ‘wells’ for fingers to rest correctly into, not too heavy. Features a really effective cutting blade. For ages 3+ to around the age of 12.

  • Skill trainer witty eating spoon – excellent grip you can put onto any spoon to teach correct grip for using a spoon. For ages 2 – 7 years. For left and right handers. It’s shape is specially designed to permit only one possible finger position which extremely cushioned and comfortable for our sensitive kids.
  • Cleverstix training chopsticks for kids – we are getting some
    CleverstiX have gained wide recognition and approval from Occupational Therapists, the National Handwriting Association and Educational Suppliers.
    CleverstiX have gained wide recognition and approval from Occupational Therapists, the National Handwriting Association and Educational Suppliers.

    great feedback on this product from dyspraxic children, OT’s and schools: For ages 3-10 (older for Dyspraxics). They train the correct grip, actually develop the hand writing grip, improve motor skills and make meal times more fun. A friend of mine bought a pair for her daughter and gave her a pencil to write with afterwards, she went straight for a tripod grip hold on the pencil! She is only young, 6 years old, but managed to use them from the get go.

  • Older children: Sporks (they are a spoon, fork and knife combined permitting you to carry out all the action with one hand, the well in the spork allows you to transfer food (especially peas) from plate to mouth without dropping it halfway along, I know a few teenage dyspraxics who keep these in their school bags for use in the school canteen.)
  • Adult Kura Care Cutlery – again, good ergonomically but as they get older, may be a little too visual and embarrassing to use in public, or take them into a cook shop and have them pick their own cutlery – they will tell you straight away what is best for them.

With regular use of an ergonomic set of cutlery your child should begin to master the skills to enable them to transition to any type of cutlery. I would never dive in with new cutlery – grab the playdoh and really play with the cutlery away from the table, cook loads of toast and have him/her cut it up and feed it to you or themselves etc. Remember, it has to be on their terms – lay the range of cutlery out that you have allowing your child to decide which is easiest for them.

Thoughts and tips…

  • When children find the oral process of eating tiring and difficult to coordinate, we then add mastering cutlery to the mix at the same time. You’re probably already with me on this – overwhelmed. What we need to remember is that the important thing is for our children to eat and at no time must we put so much pressure on them that they no longer want to eat.
  • Practise cutlery and oral/eating skills away from the dinner table so that dining with the family remains a pleasant and positive experience no matter how much food gets splattered on them and the room. Source some clear covers for the floor beneath them and have a set of eating TShirts that won’t get ruined with food stains and then you can all relax.
  • Encourage your child to cut up their food right at the beginning of the meal before the tiredness sets in.
  • Use Tippex on your cutlery to show your child where their first finger should be placed (Peter Pointer) on their knife and fork
  • Handedness with cutlery: Oli is right handed but eats/uses his cutlery, like a left hander. Interestingly, in a recent survey, nearly 80% of left handers eat the right-handed way. Some schools are trying to ‘encourage’ children to eat the right-handed way, I have spoken to parents where this has caused anxiety and even stuttering and tics, as soon as they asked the school to let their children eat with their cutlery in their chosen hands the tics, stuttering and anxiety all went away. I would let your child decide which hand holds the knife and fork, especially as ‘handedness’ is one of the red flags for Dyspraxia. Occupational therapists can assist you in understanding the handedness of your child.
  • When Oli was younger I bought some velcro fruit and vegetables
    Wooden food cutting set trains the cutting action preparing your child really well for mastering or improving their cutlery skills.
    Wooden food cutting set trains the cutting action preparing your child really well for mastering or improving their cutlery skills.

    that came with a plastic chopping knife to help him to begin to master his knife. It won’t necessarily teach the ‘sawing’ action but it was a good start and fun to do. Engage your children in food prep at home, you might nervously watch over them but they love the ‘risk’ factor of a big sharp knife. Always be totally 100% watching and advising whilst they do this! If you are a bit of a nervous type you can buy really big plastic lettuce knives to give your children the feel of a chopping knife to use on Playdoh or plasticine. The chopping action is different though and will need to be taught. (I’ll put some detail in about this soon: rock from point to end).

  • As with everything I write I would always recommend seeing an
    Just take a bite provides constructive advice on food aversion and eating challenges
    Just take a bite provides constructive advice on food aversion and eating challenges

    OT or speech/language therapist for professional advice. You might be buying cutlery to fix a problem that a few exercises may remedy or it may uncover a bigger picture – for us it was called ‘sensory processing disorder’. Some of the OT’s in the UK have now been trained by Kay Toomey – a specialist in children’s eating problems – you can follow a food school/science programme with them. I also like the book we sell called ‘Just Take A Bite’, it’s one of the only books I’ve found so far that goes beyond addressing ‘picky eaters’. By the way, all you kind-hearted souls who suggest to us already stressed-out parents to starve a child and they will eat – Oli went for 5 days like this and didn’t eat a thing – some don’t! They need our help, they are not spoilt, fussy children (phew – that memory will never go away – had to get that off my chest!).

  • We have tried most things and you know, sometimes Oli still comes home from a particularly exhausting day at school and dives into his meal with both hands – sometimes you just need to look away – our dyspraxic kids get enormously tired compared to their peers – a late night meal with a row over using their cutlery correctly might not result in a positive experience for anyone. It’s okay to have a little giggle to yourself when your child stabs a whole Yorkshire pudding with his fork and puts it to his mouth like a gigantic lollipop rather than go through the effort of cutting it.

 

 

 

Handwriting with too much pressure. The reasons why and 16 ideas to help reduce pencil pressure

Handwriting with too much pressure?

Handwriting with too much pressure. The reasons why and 16 helpful solutions.
Handwriting with too much pressure. The reasons why and 16 helpful solutions.

If you or your child is constantly breaking their pencil lead, is tearing through their paper or complaining of their hand hurting then the likelihood is that they are applying too much pressure when writing.

The reasons why your child might write with too much pressure

Pencil pressure is dependent upon one of our sensory systems: proprioception. Proprioception is the body’s ability to sense itself. Our proprioceptive system receives input from our receptors in our skin, our joints and muscles relating to body position, pressure, movement, stretch, contract, changes of body position in space and weight. It is proprioception that enables us to apply more or less pressure and enables us to judge the force required for a specific task. Proprioception enables us to coordinate our movements appropriately throughout the day. We know that lifting a sponge on the side in the kitchen requires very little effort and pressure, whilst lifting the bed mattress to tuck in the sheet requires more work. Alongside the proprioceptive system the brain has to coordinate input about movement, gravity and balance involving the vestibular system.

A functioning proprioceptive system allows us to move the small muscles on the hand to move the pencil in fluid movements and with that ‘just right’ pressure. If a child’s proprioceptive sense is impaired, they may find it challenging to ‘judge’ how hard they are pressing.

Heavy pressure can really reduce the speed of writing and can cause fatigue, the hand might become tired and sore.

Typical signs of too much pressure when writing

  • The pencil point breaks
  • Letters are very dark
  • Lines and handwriting are often smudged
  • Paper tears
  • Deeply embossing into the next few pages of their books
  • When erasing mistakes they don’t fully erase, mistakes can still be read

16 ideas to hep reduce pencil pressure (and a few more!!)

  1. Increase proprioception, try sensory input before handwriting, anything that involves joint compression, heavy work e.g. chair pushups, wheelbarrow walk pushes, wall push ups, animal walks, praying with hands and fingers really pushing together, therapy putty manipulation. Regularly place pressure in the upper limbs through exercises which may include crawling games, ladies press ups etc. These games can be performed ‘just for fun’ even when you are not planning a handwriting activity. Hand exercises before a handwriting task are really effective at reducing handwriting pressure. Squeeze your hand into a fist as tight as you can, then relax and stretch out the hands and fingers. Repeat
    Therapy putty for finger and pencil grip strengthening and to improve fine motor skills
    Therapy putty for finger and pencil grip strengthening and to improve fine motor skills

    a few times. Then practise writing with a tight hand compared to a relaxed hand and have your child comment on the difference in the way it felt and how the handwriting looks. This helps your child to begin to develop their awareness and words for the way they are holding their pencil.

  2. Use therapy putty – available in three different resistances, making pinch pots prior to writing or pulling small buttons from the putty provides a good ‘finger pincer’ workout for the fingers prior to writing.
  3. Try a light up pressure pen. It teaches your child how to modulate
    The Light Up Pressure Pen is ideal for children who press too hard and for anyone undertaking the Speed Up! Handwriting Programme by Lois Addy.
    The Light Up Pressure Pen is ideal for children who press too hard and for anyone undertaking the Speed Up! Handwriting Programme by Lois Addy.

    their pressure without you needing to point it out to them. Very fun and effective. If they press too hard the light will be constantly on. A super ergonomic pen too that is refillable if they want to continue using it as a permanent pen. You can challenge your child to write so that the light doesn’t come on.

  4. Secret spy messages. Create your own secret spy pads. Layer carbon paper and plain paper and staple the pad together. When they first write a message on the top of the pad it might copy through to three agents, you only want to share it with the first agent, ask them to try and reduce the pressure so that only the first agent can read the message – effective fun. Discuss the adjustments they made to succeed.
  5. Try using a mechanical pencil.  Each time the lead breaks it will
    The patented WriteRIGHT ergonomic pencil grip and trainer. Designed by an occupational therapist, the dolphin pencil grip provides a superb visual and tactile cue to finger positioning for a correct pencil grip.
    The patented WriteRIGHT ergonomic pencil grip and trainer. Designed by an occupational therapist, the dolphin pencil grip provides a superb visual and tactile cue to finger positioning for a correct pencil grip.

    provide feedback to your child encouraging them to modify their pressure. A 7mm lead is better to start with for heavy pressure writers. Your child might like the WriteRIGHT mechanical pencil and dolphin grip.

  6. Do some hole punching around the edge of the paper to ‘wake’ the muscles before handwriting
  7. Place a sheet of paper over a piece of cork or a soft mouse pad and ask your child to try and write across the paper without poking a hole through it.
  8. Place the writing paper over a sheet of sandpaper – great heavy work for the small muscles in the hand and provides strong proprioceptive feedback.
  9. Try ghost writing! Ask your child to write lightly on the paper and then erase the words without leaving any marks. Try and read the words after they’ve been erased. If you are not able to read them the writer wins the game! Great fun!
  10. Your child may benefit from sensory feedback from their
    Faber Castell GRIP 2001 HB pencil with eraser
    The raised sensory grip on the Faber Castell GRIP pencils increases proprioception and can help to reduce handwriting pressure.

    handwriting tools (especially children with sensory processing disorder). Tactile sensory seekers love textures, this can be provided on their pencil. Try the Faber Castell GRIP writing pencils, the sensory pencil grip and fidget pencils.

    Pencil fidgets for sensory seekers
    Pencil fidgets for sensory seekers
  11. Try writing on newspaper or tissue paper, a very light hand is needed to prevent tearing it.
  12. Wrap a bit of blu tack around the pencil as a grip. Encourage your child to hold the pencil with a grasp that does not press too deeply into the blu tack.
  13. Draw three identical flowers, cars etc for them to colour in. Ask them to colour them in with the same pencil, one should be coloured in lightly to make light grey, one medium grey and one dark grey. Talk about the different amounts of pressure they used to achieve the different shades of grey. Ask how it feels when they are making the darker grey compared to the lighter grey shade. You can do the same with ruler lines too – start really light and see how many different shades of lines they can make until they can’t get any darker. Do one long ruler line starting light and ending dark and vice versa, keep talking about how it felt and what the difference was. Once this is understood ask your child to write a sentence ‘too dark’, ‘too light’ and then ‘just right’. Discuss how their hand felt after each sentence. Encourage their understanding of that ‘just right’ feeling. This can then be advanced to your child writing their name with their eyes closed using the ‘just right’ pressure. Discuss how it felt.
  14. Try slipping a thin sheet of plastic under their writing paper or a page of their school exercise book. The firmer surface will reduce the amount of pressure they can use to write with. Alternatively any firm surface will have the same effect.
  15. Try increasing the width of the pencil shaft, some children find it
    Pencil pack available in pinks or blues. Support the correct tripod grip for efficient handwriting. PenAgain, Yoropen Pencil, Stabilo Ergo Pencil, Faber Castell Jumbo GRIP pencil and Faber Castell triangular GRIP standard pencil with eraser. Stabilo eraser. Comes in left or right handed packs.
    Pencil pack available in pinks or blues. Support the correct tripod grip for efficient handwriting. Available in left or right handed packs.

    easier holding a wider pencil. Try a range of pencils and ask your child if it one feels easier to write with. It is important that your child is aware of how tightly they are holding their pencil and how heavily they press on the page. The best pencil grip is a comfortable grip that allows the hands and fingers to move freely and easily when writing and drawing. Some children immediately press lighter with a change in the writing utensil.

  16. Try squeezing a stress ball before handwriting and during
    Happy Hand Exercise Ball for increased proprioception before and during handwriting
    Happy Hand Exercise Ball for increased proprioception before and during handwriting

    handwriting to help wake the muscles before handwriting.

  17. Have fun writing on a boiled egg with a felt tip, it’s quite tricky not to poke through the skin!
  18. Watch out for bi-lateral coordination difficulties (the ability to use two hands together). Some children don’t use their helping hand to stabilise their paper which can result in them using the forearm of their writing hand to compensate which can cause them to press too hard.
  19. Place a sheet of paper over a carpet tile or piece of felt placed on the table and ask your child to write on it. Show your child how the back of the paper is all raised up, have him try again so that the back of the paper isn’t raised after they’ve written a sentence. Some children enjoy the feeling of pressing really hard on their paper, if this is so switch exercise books for single sheets of paper in school to reduce the ‘feel’ of the pencil digging into the sheets of the exercise book.
  20. You could also ask your child to listen to the sound of the pencil. Pressing too hard usually creates a louder sound than when they press ‘just right’.
  21. Make sure you are not giving your child a soft pencil (B) as this will make their handwriting even darker and even more likely to look smudged. A hard pencil (HB) will not smudge so easily.
  22. A vibrating pen provides sensory feedback and can help children with low muscle tone, it helps to wake up or stimulate muscles. The wiggle pen is fun, encourage your child to hold it lightly which will result in spirally lines or apply a steady amount of pressure to write without squiggles.
  23. Finally, if despite your best efforts there is no improvement, we would recommend talking to an occupational therapist or your schools’ SEN teacher to perform a full handwriting assessment.

Well, we hope this has helped…

If you have tried something that made a real difference in reducing the hand writing pressure please share it with us! Thanks…

Copyright Fantastic Dyspraxic. Author Lisa Bochenek. 2017.

Games for children with Dyspraxia

Games for children with Dyspraxia and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD).

Supplement your occupational therapy sessions with therapy-play sessions at home from these specially selected products.

  • All the products are available from www.fantasticdyspraxic.co.uk
  • All the games and accessories have been tried and tested with Dyspraxic children.
  • Simply click on the image to learn more about that particular game

FINE MOTOR SKILLS GAMES and accessories. All these games will help with handwriting development. Remember to click on the images below the list for further information.

  • Avalanche Fruit Stand Game
  • Bed Bugs
  • Chair stack
  • Cleverstix training chopsticks
  • Colour and spin spinning top
  • Crayon Rocks – tripod grip finger trainer crayons
  • Elephant finger trainer
  • Ergonomic pencil pack
  • Fine motor skills toolset
  • Sand & Water fine motor skills tool set
  • Fine motor skills peg domino game *FAVOURITE GAME*
  • Fine motor tricky tree peg game
  • Gator Grabber Tweezers
  • Get a grip patterns game
  • Happy Hand Exerciser Ball
  • Magna Maze with 2 pens
  • Mini Muffin match up game
  • Number Magna Maze Ants
  • Peg stack and thread activity set
  • Roulette Magna Maze
  • Shelby’s Snack Shack
  • Stabilo 3 in 1 pencil pack
  • String along lacing game
  • Super sorting pie
  • The sneaky snacky squirrel game
  • Time shock
  • Some people recommend the game ‘Operation’, but we have always found this too hard for our testers who reject the game early into play as they simply cannot compete on equal terms with their peers or are scared by the buzzing sound that always comes on for them. If you do have this game we suggest turning the sound off.
A fabulous game to teach coordination, early handwriting skills, motor planning, matching, colours and numbers.
Number Magna Maze Ants. A fabulous game to teach coordination, early handwriting skills, motor planning, matching, colours and numbers.
Teaches the concept of visual balance, develops fine motor manipulation skills, and encourages the use of both hands to support construction and prevent tipping. Ideal pre-handwriting preparation game.
Fine motor tricky tree peg game. Teaches the concept of visual balance, develops fine motor manipulation skills
Fine motor skill development game - provides therapy without them even realising!
Fine motor skill peg domino game – provides therapy without them even realising! *OUR FAVOURITE GAME*
Quality spinning top encourages colouring in and top spinning fun for fine motor and hand eye coordination benefits.
Quality spinning top encourages colouring in and top spinning fun for fine motor and hand eye coordination benefits.
Happy Hand Exercise Ball for fine motor skill and hand strengthening on the go.
Happy Hand Exercise Ball for fine motor skill and hand strengthening.
Dyspraxia game chair stack - fine Motor Skills and hand control, Hand/Eye Co-ordination, Strategic Motor Planning, the concept of balance and Visual Perception.
Chair stack – fine Motor Skills and hand control, Hand/Eye Co-ordination
Roulette Magnamaze develops hand eye coordination, early handwriting and reading skills and strengthens motor planning and problem solving in a fun way.
Roulette Magnamaze develops hand eye coordination, early handwriting and reading skills.
Magnamaze with 2 pens for motor planning, hand eye coordination, crossing the midline, strengthening of the muscles used for handwriting and encourages forward thinking in a fun and engaging way. Joint participation together makes it really fun.
Magnamaze with 2 pens for motor planning, hand eye coordination, crossing the midline.
Develops grip strengthening, early maths skills, memory strengthening, hand eye coordination, motor planning - all in one fun to play box set
Get a grip fine motor skills patterns game.  Develops grip strengthening, early maths skills and memory strengthening.
CleverstiX have gained wide recognition and approval from Occupational Therapists, the National Handwriting Association and Educational Suppliers.
CleverstiX have gained wide recognition and approval from Occupational Therapists, the National Handwriting Association and Educational Suppliers.
Rainbow Peg Play - stack, thread and count game. Maths side develops counting skills and colour recognition.
Peg Stack and Play Activity Set – stack, thread and count game.
Rainbow Peg Play - stack, thread and count game. Develops early stage grip, fine motor and motor planning.
Peg Stack and Play Activity Set – stack, thread and count game. Develops early stage grip, fine motor and motor planning.
Fun fine motor skills / handwriting grip game. Follow one of 16 pattern cards using 18 laces or freestyle your own design. Team with a pencil grip to ensure the tripod grip is encouraged from the start as the pencil is round and slippy. Really great way to develop finger strength through the pushing motion.
String Along Lacing Kit. Fun fine motor skills / handwriting grip game. Follow one of 16 pattern cards using 18 laces
Tummy time activity - great for shoulder strengthening for handwriting! Fun fine motor skills / handwriting grip game. Team with a pencil grip to ensure the tripod grip is encouraged from the start as the pencil is round and slippy. Really great way to develop finger strength through the pushing motion.
String Along Lacing Kit. Tummy time activity – great for shoulder strengthening for handwriting!
Super Sorting Pie Dyspraxia Game. Tweezer play for developing fine motor skills. Develops early maths skills too!
Super Sorting Pie Dyspraxia Game. Tweezer play for developing fine motor skills. Develops early maths skills too!
Archimedes Screw encourages fine and gross motor skills, bilateral coordination, crossing the midline and will strengthen handedness whilst having a great deal of fun!
Archimedes Screw encourages fine and gross motor skills, bilateral coordination, crossing the midline and will strengthen handedness whilst having a great deal of fun!
Shelby's snack shack Dyspraxia fine motor skills game with free Jumbo tweezers to extend fine motor skills development.
Shelby’s snack shack Dyspraxia fine motor skills game with free Jumbo tweezers to extend fine motor skills development.
Dyspraxia fine motor skills game - sneaky, snacky squirrel with free Jumbo tweezer to extend fine motor skill play. Colour matching game for 2-4 players.
Dyspraxia fine motor skills sneaky, snacky squirrel game with free Jumbo tweezer to extend fine motor skill play.
Dyspraxia game for children - Bed Bugs - fun way to develop fine motor skills.
Dyspraxia game for children – Bed Bugs – fun way to develop fine motor skills.
Many children with dyspraxia struggle to get their fingers to do what they want them to do, this is a very simple, clever toy that encourages independent movement of the fingers and thumb in a very fun way, excellent for both left and right handers.
Finger gym elephant. Clever toy that encourages independent movement of the fingers and thumb.
Children's Gator Grabber Tweezers strengthen muscles in the hands, developing the pincer grasp for school readiness.
Gator Grabber Tweezers strengthen muscles in the hands, developing the pincer grasp for school readiness.
Fine motor skills toolset
Fine motor skills toolset
Ideal game for children with dyspraxia and fine motor skill difficulties. The Avalanche fruit stand game. Comes with 2 jumbo tweezers that you can use for other fine motor skills activities.
Avalanche fruit stand fine motor skills game. Comes with 2 jumbo tweezers that you can use for other fine motor skills activities.
Dyspraxia game time shock strengthens fine Motor, Hand/Eye Co-ordination, Spatial Awareness, Visual Perception and figure ground challenges.
Time shock – Fine Motor, Hand/Eye Co-ordination, Spatial Awareness, Visual Perception and figure ground challenge game.
Sand and water fine motor skills strengthening tools. Develop scissor skills, pincer grip and coordination
Sand and water fine motor skills strengthening tools. Develop scissor skills, pincer grip and coordination
Stabilo Woody 3-in-1 pencils are really versatile. Use on windows, paper, even the sides of wellies! Strong colours, water soluble for blending colours with water. Ideal for encouraging pencil grip time.
Stabilo Woody 3-in-1 pencils are really versatile. Use on windows, paper, even wellies! Encourages pencil grip time.
Crayon Rocks® are the best crayon you can buy to encourage the tripod grip in your child's early handwriting development
Crayon Rocks® really are the best crayon you can buy to encourage the tripod grip in your child’s early handwriting development
16 Crayon Rocks in muslin bag for fine motor development
16 Crayon Rocks® in a muslin bag – the best fine motor skills crayon
Dyspraxia pencil pack available in pinks or blues. Support the correct tripod grip for efficient handwriting in the later years. PenAgain, Yoropen Pencil, Stabilo Ergo Pencil, Faber Castell Jumbo GRIP pencil and Faber Castell traingular GRIP standard pencil with eraser. Stabilo eraser. Comes in left or right handed packs.
Popular Dyspraxia pencil pack available in pinks or blues. Unique pack of OT recommended pencils.
Fine Motor Skills, Colour Recognition, Sorting, Matching and Counting Game ideal for children with Dyspraxia. Squeezy tweezers and activity guide.
Fine Motor Skills Muffin Match Up Game, Colour Recognition, Sorting, Matching and Counting Game ideal for children with Dyspraxia. Squeezy tweezers and activity guide.

Additionally there are two items that are not toys, requiring constant adult supervision but are helpful to develop fine motor skills.

  • The Digit wheel for finger strengthening, coordination and button skills
  • Therapy putty for finger strengthening
Finger exercise wheel helps improve finger manipulation, coordination and buttoning skills
Finger exercise wheel helps improve finger manipulation, coordination and buttoning skills
Therapy putty for finger and pencil grip strengthening and to improve fine motor skills
Therapy putty for finger and pencil grip strengthening and to improve fine motor skills

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR SKILLS GAMES and activities for fun in the bath – Remember to click on the image for further information.

  • Fine motor skills toolset *FAVOURITE TOOLS FOR THE BATH*
  • Stabilo 3 in 1 pencil pack (but don’t get it on the grouting)
  • Sand & Water Fine Motor Skills Toolset
Fine motor skills dyspraxia toolset for strengthening the fine motor skills. Fun scissor scoop for pre-scissor skills development. Endless play possibilities. Can be used at bath time too.
Fine motor skills dyspraxia toolset for strengthening the fine motor skills. Fun scissor scoop for pre-scissor skills development. Endless play possibilities. Can be used at bath time too.
Stabilo Woody 3-in-1 pencils are really versatile. Use on windows, paper, even the sides of wellies! Strong colours, water soluble for blending colours with water. Ideal for encouraging pencil grip time.
Stabilo Woody 3-in-1 pencils are really versatile. Use on windows, paper, even the sides of wellies! Strong colours, water soluble for blending colours with water. Ideal for encouraging pencil grip time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sand and water fine motor tool set strengthen fine motor skills whilst having fun
sand and water fine motor tool set strengthen fine motor skills whilst having fun

GROSS MOTOR SKILL GAMES and activities – Remember to click on the image for further information.

  • Scooter board (with hockey sticks!) *FAVOURITE*
  • Alpha Catch
  • Balance beam
  • Easy catch sensory ball
  • Easy catch beanbag scarf
  • Floor surfer / roller board / scooter board by Gonge
  • Rainbow comet easy catch ball
  • Gymnic Rody Junior Cavallo Horse
  • Gymnic Rody Max Space Hopper
  • Gymnic sensory ball
  • Puff and play super soft easy catch ball
  • Stepping stone
  • Rockerboard
  • Wobbleboard
  • Balance cushion
  • Gymnic disc ‘o’ sit
  • Gymnic physio peanut roll
  • Gymnic Raffy
  • Gymnic Hop
  • Stabilo 3 in 1 pencil pack
  • Some people recommend the game ‘Twister’ but we have found this too hard for our children who avoid participation.

BALANCE GAMES and activities

  • Scooterboard
  • Fine motor tricky tree peg game
  • Balance beam *FAVOURITE*
  • Gymnic Rody Max Space Hopper
  • Stepping stones
  • Rockerboard
  • Wobbleboard
  • Balance cushion
  • Gymnic Disc ‘o’ sit
  • Gymnic Physio peanut roll
  • Gymnic Raffy
  • Gymnic Hop
High quality weighted bean bag scarf makes throwing and catching a positive experience for children with dyspraxia. Just missed the bean ball ? Catch the scarf instead!
Easy catch bean bag scarf makes throwing and catching a positive experience for children with dyspraxia.
Rainbow comet makes catching a ball easy - gross motor skill and hand eye coordination play for increased ball-catching confidence.
Rainbow comet easy catch ball  – gross motor skill and hand eye coordination play for increased ball-catching confidence.
Super soft lightweight 16cm ball is easy to catch. Maliable and easily self inflated rewards children for their puff with some gross motor play!
Puff and play super soft easy catch ball.
High quality balance beam stimulates child's balance and co-ordination.
High quality balance beam stimulates child’s balance and co-ordination. *FAVOURITE*
Moulded cushion gives excellent grip due to raised sensory surface. Sit, stand or kneel - will improve co-ordination, balance and posture.
Balance cushion . Sit, stand or kneel – will improve co-ordination, balance and posture.
Scooter board for gross motor and balance skills.
Scooter board / floor surfer for gross motor and balance skills. We love this board – ergonomically perfect and very comfortable *FAVOURITE*
An 11cm diameter ball with a raised sensory surface makes this a softer ball to teach touch and texture. Inflatable using a needle pump. Ideal for gentle massage too.
Easy catch sensory ball – a raised sensory surface makes this a softer ball to teach touch and texture. Ideal for gentle massage too.
Stepping stones encourage movement, gross motor skills, balance and motor planning.
Stepping stones encourage movement, gross motor skills, balance and motor planning.
Quality heavy duty moulded plastic scooter board with handles and non-marking wheels. Scootering is great for developing balance and coordination and conditions shoulder muscles and upper body for handwriting effectiveness.
Quality heavy duty moulded plastic scooter board with handles and non-marking wheels. Scootering is great for developing balance and coordination and conditions shoulder muscles and upper body for handwriting effectiveness. *FAVOURITE*
Add 2 scooter board hockey sticks to your purchase for purposeful therapy play and longer adherence. Fun for you too!
Add scooter board hockey sticks to your scooter boards for fun therapy play *FAVOURITE*
Soft sensory rubber ball which is easy to catch and grasp. Encouraging all ability participation and confidence. Improves gross motor confidence and hand eye coordination skills.
Soft sensory easy to catch and grasp ball. Encouraging all ability participation and confidence.
Gentle to the touch yet provides a good grip. Can be re-inflated by an adult using a needle pump. Adjustable inflation and sensory bumps make the surface easier to hold onto and catch. Quality made Gymnic product. Suitable for massage, hand therapy, reflexology and relaxation exercises.
Gymnic sensory soft touch ball. Gentle to the touch yet provides a good grip. 
Adjustable inflation and sensory bumps make the surface easier to hold onto and catch. Quality made Gymnic product. Suitable for massage, hand therapy, reflexology and relaxation exercises.
Alpha Catch Phonics Game with added bonus of developing some Gross Motor Skills and Hand-Eye coordination! The best way for Dyspraxic kids to learn is to make it fun and memorable - this set is just brilliant for this. Includes loads of fun ideas for active learning.
Alpha Catch Phonics Game with added bonus of developing some Gross Motor Skills and Hand-Eye coordination for Dyspraxic Kids. The best way for Dyspraxic kids to learn is to make it fun and memorable – this set is just brilliant for this. Includes loads of fun ideas for active learning.
Gymnic Rody Junior Cavallo ride on bouncy horse for ages 3-5. A fun dynamic toy that helps children with dyspraxia to develop balance, coordination, movement and motor planning skills safely and independently.
Gymnic Rody Junior Cavallo ride on bouncy horse for ages 3-5. Develop balance, coordination, movement and motor planning skills safely and independently.
Gymnic physio activity roll for gross motor skills work - ideal for children with dyspraxia. Really fun peanut ball that children will be fascinated by and will want to exercise with.
Gymnic physio activity roll for gross motor skills work – ideal for children with dyspraxia. Really fun peanut ball that children will be fascinated by and will want to exercise with.
Gymnic Disc O Sit balance cushion
Gymnic Disc O Sit balance cushion
Gymnic Rody Max - safe 'hopping' fun
Gymnic Rody Max – safe ‘hopping’ fun.
Wobble balance board
Wobble balance board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you have found this summary of Dyspraxia games helpful, please send in your suggestions about the games you have found to be successful with your children. Of course, not every game has to be bought, there are lots of ways to stimulate these skills. Hopefully this selection will add a few more options to your Dyspraxia play box.

Rocker balance board
Rocker balance board