Here's a material I prepared that got the children in my class almost jumping with excitement the first time I showed it to them. I told the children that we were going to make the bunny hop along the carrot patch to help him get some carrots to eat.
Things we need:
- Flat styroboard, which I painted green
- Pen with no more ink
- Just a quick but important note about your tray: Make sure it is just right so as not to get in the way of your child's hand/wrist when doing this activity. Take the styroboard out of the tray when working if you can't get a perfect tray just yet.
- Bunny and carrot template
Just cut the squares up and laminate the bunny and stick it on the inkless pen.
The children make the rabbit "hop" along the orange dots, punching small holes
with the tip of the inkless pen as they go along.
Note: See if you can position the bunny on the pen so as to discourage the child
from using his/her fisted/stabbing grip. Lower the bunny along the pen so there is
just enough comfortable space for a tripod grip.
Because the orange dots are close together, soon there will be a perforation,
easy enough for the children to tear.
When done, the child carefully tears out the carrot.
This is a good exercise for easing the child into holding and eventually using a writing tool.
Without having to mind his/her strokes on a paper first, the child is able to concentrate,
albeit unknowingly, on stabilizing and strengthening his/her grip, while just moving
up and down along the dotted line.
The hopping bunny and the consequent carrot is an effective point of interest for children
who shy away from holding a pen/pencil altogether or for those who are intimidated by the
seemingly long task of punching through a number of dots.