Monday, April 13, 2015

Kangaroo DIY Pencil Holder. The Correct Pencil Grip.

Letter K Is for Kangaroo.

With all the supplies available, my daughter asked for the regular pencils. To celebrate her tiny cute milestone, we made a kangaroo pencil holder for our letter of the week. What is the best age for the proper pencil grasp, for starting using pencils and beginning writing? They are ready when they are ready! This post is a part of our "Creative ABCs" series found here: Creative ABCs.

One  Adventurous Day in the Kangaroo Family Life

"I Love It When You Smile" by Sam McBratney is our favorite book for the letter K week. Both the text and illustrations are the cutest! We had to read this book many times: it gives a nice opportunity to discuss the baby kangaroo's and his mother's feelings. There is an unexpected turn to the events at the end!

My Firefly loved playing "seek and find" with another kangaroo book: "Where Are You, Blue Kangaroo?" by Emma Chichester Clark.

Our Thoughts on the Pencil Grip and Early Writing

Preschoolers go through several stages when mastering their pencil grip. It is important to provide them with the proper supplies.
  • Fisted grip: jumbo sized round crayons or markers.
  • Four-finger to three-finger grip: we used triangular shaped jumbo sized crayons and a paint brush. Crayola round jumbo crayons marked for preschoolers are actually the worst for the littlest fingers you could imagine!
  • Three-finger grip to pincer grip: skinny mini Pip-Squeaks worked the best for us.
I wish I knew it at a time. We had to go through trial and error to find the comfortable supplies for her - and she had to have them!

It is recommended not to teach the correct pencil grip until a child develops enough fine and gross motor skills to be able to control the pencil without discomfort.

But how would you know that your child is ready to learn a new skill? I saw this picture today again:

A 4 year old boy is holding that massive Crayola marker in his fist and trying to color a small detail on the picture of his choice. It is very difficult to do even for an adult!!! It requires an excellent hand-eye coordination to fill between the lines with the fist. And he does an awesome job! But is he actually learning how to color this way? Is he working on his fine motor skills with this coloring activity?

I would say: show them today how to hold a pencil with 2 fingers, then gently help your kid to position his fingers around the pencil and begin making a line. If they have enough muscle control - they will love that! And celebrate this milestone with them by making this DIY Kangaroo.

Of course, engaging kids in different types of fine and gross motor activities is the best.

Cereal Box No Glue Kangaroo

Prepare your box: 3 sides of the box are used. Cut off top and bottom flaps, and one narrow side. Preserve a strip for the kangaroo's tail.

Draw a kangaroo: we started with the circle for the head and two curved lines for the body. Add legs and notice the special lines for cutting and/or folding (pictured above).

Cut it out. Cut through the body in 3 parallel lines. Fold your kangaroo creating a packet.

Attach the tail with the stapler as pictured below. Curve the tail a little. The kangaroo can bounce now!

Decorate and enjoy your new Kangaroo pal!

Visit our "Creative ABCs" series for more letter of the week fun and learning: Creative ABCs.

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