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Summer Learning with Learnigo #3: Supporting Fine Motor and Pre-Writing Skills

☀️Summer Learning Made Fun: Supporting Fine Motor and Pre-Writing Skills with Learnigo☀️

Dive into summer with fun activities and games to continue developing occupational therapy skills all year long! At Learnigo, we offer a variety of summer-themed tips and tricks to keep children engaged and motivated. Our products make practicing visual motor, pre-writing, and fine motor skills entertaining while school is out for the summer. This post provides suggestions for a home program to support pre-handwriting skills, complementing our digital Learnigo lessons which you can access for free with our 30-day trial.

Handwriting (EDU & OT) Program

Our program is designed for preventing, screening, and intervening in dysgraphia, and for developing pre-writing and fine motor skills required in academic settings and beyond. It suits children from preschool through elementary ages with a variety of abilities, including those with developmental, intellectual, and neurological challenges. Here are some summer activities to try for continued learning:

Fun in the Sun: Pre-Writing, Fine Motor, Crafts, and Full Body Activities

Kid drawing figures in the sand
Picture from https://www.petitjourney.com.au/sand-art-children/

Sensory Experiences: Let’s use our senses to process and learn new information.

1. Multi-Sensory Fun

    • Draw shapes or copy designs with sand, paint, or chalk.
    • Use water for play with droppers, water pads, or color-dyed water as “finger paint.”
    • Collect items from nature (flowers, shells, leaves) for a ‘nature book’ or crafts. 
    • Build letters with grass, pebbles, or sticks.
    • Create sensory bins with materials like rice, beans, kinetic sane, or pasta. Add small toys or letters and encourage sorting with tweezers or fingers.
Learnigo example activity for Blob and Stains

Try Using this Blobs and Stains activity from  Learnigo’s Handwriting program for visual motor skills. Ask your child, what can you create given what you see? What under the sea or up in the sky pictures come to mind? Some ideas could be: fish, a kite, a pool, and waves. Close your eyes to imagine the sounds, smells, and tastes of your creation! You can then copy what you made on a paper or napkins using a water dropper and markers.

Crafts

Summer-Themed Crafts: create your own versions of the sun, fireworks, picnic, watermelon, camping, or ice cream with whatever tools you have on hand. This may involve crayons, paint, colored pencils, pens, glue, playdoh or clay, tissue paper, and construction paper.

  • Paper Plates: Cut in half to make a watermelon, ice cream, fishbowl, or setting sun. Use a whole plate for the sun, fireworks, or campsite. Depending on age children can use their imagination or adults can make a copy or show a picture for them to follow.
Picture example of different summer paper crafts ideas
Picture from https://rainydaymum.co.uk/cute-easy-summer-paper-plate-crafts-kids/
  • Construction Paper: Draw, trace, and cut shapes to make summer items like ice cream cones or butterflies. For younger kids, tear paper of construction or tissue paper to fill in pictures. You can make fish, popsicles, flowers, or campsites.
  • Hand and Finger Tracing: Make jellyfish, fireworks, suns, or flowers. Cut out for an added challenge.
Learnigo Kite Worksheets
Click the image above to download this worksheet for FREE!

Supplement your crafting using Learnigo’s worksheets. For example, have your child complete the symmetrical patterns on the kite. Color, trace, and cut as desired!

Writing and Tracing

3) Summer-Themed Writing: engage in copying and tracing for letters, phrases and short sentences (depending on age). Use phrases and thoughts of summer to help guide you!

    • Play games like Hangman or “copy the picture” with summer phrases.
    • Create cryptograms matching symbols to letters for secret codes.
    • Copy sentences and draw related pictures.
    • Write the ABCs and come up with summer-related words (A-August, B-Beach, etc.).
Learnigo Doodle Activity Example screenshot
Use this Doodling activity from Level 2 of Learnigo’s Handwriting program. You can copy shapes, create your own summer scene, trace or copy words and letters.

Gross Motor Activities: build overall strength needed to support all muscles in the body—yes, they help build even the tiny muscles in the hands! Here are a few ideas for home:

4. Strength-Building Games 

    • Weight Bear through Arms and Upper Body: Wheelbarrow walks, planks, push-ups, and animal walks such as: crab walks, bear crawls, and frog jumps.
    • Exercises: Jumping jacks, toe touches, marching, children’s yoga.
    • Games: Jump rope, balloon keep-up in the air or pass back and forth, simple obstacle courses– outdoor or indoor with 2-4 steps such as throwing a ball to a target, jump over a hoop, walk on a line, craw under a piece of equipment, ect.
Learnigo example activity for Matching

Incorporate any of Learnigo lessons as 1 station or ‘step’ of your home-made obstacle course! For example, an obstacle course can include: (1) child balancing pompom or eraser on spoon walking a line, then (2) stopping at the table to use Learnigo’s Visual Perceptual Matching activity (above), and (3) crawling across the couch cushions or pillows on floor to the finish line.

Learnigo example activity for Positions
Use Learnigo’s Positions of Details lesson to sharpen your eyes and body! Your child can trial activity 1, 3 or 4 to complete the task and copy the actions of the stick figures using their body.

Putting in the work during vacation time is hard! Keep track of all the amazing things your child does this summer to grow their skills, whether it’s through pictures, videos, or a classic posting of activities onto the refrigerator.  This will help stay up to date on progress in addition to the progress monitoring reports Learnigo has for online learning activities.

May your learning be sunny and joyful!

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