I Can Pound with Fundanoodle {Video + Giveaway!}

Our second informational video we would love to share with our friends is our I Can Pound with Fundanoodle. In this video we introduce our award wining I Can Pound! kit and describe how it can be used as a differential learning product developing handwriting skills before ever picking up a pencil.

A favorite for our 3-4 year old children who like to hammer and move their muscles and a great letter formation tool for our older age groups!

Watch, share, and enter to win!

Just enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below and leave a comment on this blog post with either your Facebook or Twitter username (whichever you used to share!) and what product you would choose if you won.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Foundational Skills with Fundanoodle {Video + Giveaway!}

In lieu of our regular Muscle Mover Monday, Max and Alphie want to take this week to share our new instructional videos with you! And because we are so excited, why not offer a giveaway too?! Just check out our new short informational videos and share the link via Facebook or Twitter and you could win your choice of Fundanoodle product!

First up is our Foundational Skills video in which our CEO April explains the differential learning approach used across Fundanoodle products to develop everyday foundational skills children need to be successful in and out of the classroom.

Just enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below and leave a comment on this blog post with either your Facebook or Twitter username (whichever you used to share!) and what product you would choose if you won.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check back on Wednesday for another video and another chance to win!

Muscle Mover Monday…Uppercase D

It’s Monday morning!  Let’s get a move on!

Start your week with Fundanoodle’s award-winning Muscle Mover cards! Children can act out the movement from the cards to get the wiggles out, and then the fun continues by tracing the letter on the back of the dry erase card. Make sure to continue the blended learning by encourage the child to say the stroke movement out loud when they practice forming the letter.

We are going through the letters according to our I Can Write Uppercase! activity book and today’s letter is Uppercase D!

Zoom Down

Hop to the Top

Buzz Around

D_DogBack - Copy

Dig like a Dog!

D_Dog

Muscle Mover Monday…Uppercase S

It’s Monday morning!  Let’s get a move on!

Start your week with Fundanoodle’s award-winning Muscle Mover cards! Children can act out the movement from the cards to get the wiggles out, and then the fun continues by tracing the letter on the back of the dry erase card. Make sure to continue the blended learning by encourage the child to say the stroke movement out loud when they practice forming the letter.

We are going through the letters according to our I Can Write Uppercase! activity book and today’s letter is Uppercase S!

Buzz around.

Buzz around.

S_SnakeBack - Copy

Slither like a Snake!

S_Snake

Muscle Mover Monday…Uppercase Q

It’s Monday morning!  Let’s get a move on!

Start your week with Fundanoodle’s award-winning Muscle Mover cards! Children can act out the movement from the cards to get the wiggles out, and then the fun continues by tracing the letter on the back of the dry erase card. Make sure to continue the blended learning by encourage the child to say the stroke movement out loud when they practice forming the letter.

We are going through the letters according to our I Can Write Uppercase! activity book and today’s letter is Uppercase Q!

Buzz around to the top

Hop Down to the middle

Zoom Out

Q_QuailBack

Whistle like a Quail!

Q_Quail

Therapist Thursday: Tricks for Teaching Correct Pencil Grasp

Today’s Therapist Thursday comes from Christie at MamaOT.com.  Christie is a California-based mom and occupational therapist with a background in gymnastics, psychology, and education. We love her tips and tricks for teaching correct pencil grasp and her unique perspective on all things Pediatric OT!

how to hold a pencil

Pencil grip is one of those things that is really hard to re-teach if kids initially learn it incorrectly. Though every child will end up settling on a pencil grip that works best for him or her, introducing the standard “tripod” grasp (pinching with thumb and index finger while resting on middle finger) is a good place to start. However, this can seem virtually impossible when you’re dealing with five- and six-year-olds who don’t even know their left from right, let alone how to divide up their fingers into different positions.

Given the tricky nature of pencil holding — and its impact on kids’ handwriting skills — I thought I’d share a few OT-based tricks so you can help kids learn how to hold their pencil correctly.

Trick #1: Use shorter pencils.
how to hold a pencil
A shorter pencil means less space for cramming in unnecessary fingers. It basically forces kids to pinch with thumb and index finger. This is why occupational therapists often have kids use crayons that have been broken in half if they are having trouble using an age-appropriate grasp. Click here to read more about why kids should use shorter crayons.

Trick #2: Teach them the “pinch and flip”.

If shorter pencils don’t do the trick for your little writer, then teach them the “pinch and flip”. Simply have them pinch the sharpened end of the pencil and then flip it around until it gently rests in the “webspace” (that soft skin between your thumb and index finger) in the ready position. To watch a video for a quick demonstration and to find out the 3rd trick please read the original post.

Thanks MamaOT!

Muscle Mover Monday…Uppercase G

It’s Monday morning!  Let’s get a move on!

Start your week with Fundanoodle’s award-winning Muscle Mover cards! Children can act out the movement from the cards to get the wiggles out, and then the fun continues by tracing the letter on the back of the dry erase card. Make sure to continue the blended learning by encourage the child to say the stroke movement out loud when they practice forming the letter.

We are going through the letters according to our I Can Write Uppercase! activity book and today’s letter is Uppercase G!

Buzz Around

Zip In

Fundanoodle by Carolina Pad Upper Case G Practice

Stretch like a Giraffe!

Fundanoodle by Carolina Pad Muscle Mover Upper Case G

Muscle Mover Monday…Uppercase C!

It’s Monday morning!  Let’s get a move on!

Start your week with Fundanoodle’s award-winning Muscle Mover cards! Children can act out the movement from the cards to get the wiggles out, and then the fun continues by tracing the letter on the back of the dry erase card. Make sure to continue the blended learning by encourage the child to say the stroke movement out loud when they practice forming the letter.

We are going through the letters according to our I Can Write Uppercase! activity book and today’s letter is Uppercase C!

Buzz Around

C_CowBack

Moo like a Cow!

C_Cow

Muscle Mover Monday…Uppercase O

It’s Monday morning!  Let’s get a move on!

Start your week with Fundanoodle’s award-winning Muscle Mover cards! Children can act out the movement from the cards to get the wiggles out, and then the fun continues by tracing the letter on the back of the dry erase card. Make sure to continue the blended learning by encourage the child to say the stroke movement out loud when they practice forming the letter.

We are going through the letters according to our I Can Write Uppercase! activity book and today’s letter is Uppercase O!

Buzz around to the top

O_OctopusBack

Squeeze like an Octopus!

O_Octopus

Therapist Thursday: Handwriting Struggles in Older Children (part 3)

Hello! And welcome back to our discussion about handwriting struggles for older students. In Part 1, we looked at a bit of research about the importance of legible handwriting, as well as the role that posture plays in an efficient handwriting style. Part 2 peeked into the significance of an efficient pencil grasp and the alternate solutions to a pencil grip.   Let’s continue with a look at Some Solutions that will help older strugglers.

Movement, Vision, and Visualization can open the door to efficient handwriting in fun and creative ways for students of all ages.  Bring the Tether Ball inside by hanging a soft ball from the ceiling on a string, any size from 5-10″ around (or a tennis ball if you aren’t afraid of breaking anything).  Practicing precision eye movements by “keeping your eye on the ball” while tapping it up or sideways in controlled patterns brings movement and vision into play.

vision tracking tube

The Vision Tracking Tube is a fun challenge for older students!

Sensory activities that involve using the hands and fingers, such as kneading bread dough or planting in the garden, as well as large muscle activities such as jumping and reaching in basketball, or running and reaching in tennis, bring movement, vision, and proprioception into the picture.  Drawing letter formations in the air or identifying those that are “written” on your back, as well as “blind writing” (drawing letters, numbers, or pictures with your eyes closed) aid in the development of visualization skills that are crucial for automatic reproduction of letters and words.  And even older students can enjoy using finger paints to practice letter formation, drawing letters in shaving cream, or finding the hidden beads in the Theraputty!  Believe me, even the adults enjoy that!

Finally, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!  No, not by pulling out a worksheet and attempting to reproduce a perfect letter time after time. (I’m not sure any of us can actually do that!) But, instead, by finding writing ideas that will utilize their creative minds to practice handwriting.  Journals, poems, stories, newspaper articles, and letters to relatives are wonderful (and useful) ways to provide meaningful opportunities for older students to practice and hone their handwriting skills.  And Cursive Clubs have begun to spring up all over as fun ways to turn handwriting skills from Practiced to Functional!

Cursive Clubs are great ways to help older children gain confidence in their handwriting skills!

Cursive Clubs are great ways to help older children gain confidence in their handwriting skills!

So, what do you think?  Willing to give it a try?  I hope so because I think that your older students and children will thank you for it…well, maybe not right away, but eventually!  Thanks for reading and I hope to see you again soon!

Katherine J. Collmer, M.Ed., OTR/L, is a pediatric occupational therapist who specializes in children’s handwriting and offers professional development training in the assessment and remediation of handwriting skills.  She can be contacted via her website, Handwriting With Katherine.