It is with great enthusiasm that I introduce the world to my new book, Fun Strokes. My name is Linda Craig Dennis and I am a pediatric occupational therapist. One of the most frequent referrals we receive as occupational therapists working with children is handwriting referrals. Kids who, for many different reasons, have difficulty learning the complex skill of handwriting. When working with these kiddos I learned that many are unable to draw simple shapes. If children are unable to draw simple shapes, then you can forget about writing letters. Simple fix right? Just teach them how to do it. But there was a problem. You see, it turned out that most of the kids I’ve worked with had no interest in drawing basic shapes. It seemed as though everything I tried did little or nothing to spark interest. We all know that for most kids, if there is no interest there is no attention to task. If children aren’t motivated to pay attention, very little progress is to be made.
One day, I had a clever idea. Why not use magnets, colorful and fun magnets that can be used on vertical surfaces. This way the child is working at eye level, and visual attention is captured. Not to mention the abundance of other skills working on a vertical surface provides. I went to work creating these magnets, hoping that my clients would be intrigued by the hands-on, interactive and vibrant shapes placed in front of them. When I implemented the magnets into my practice, I knew instantly that they were a hit. Even my toughest kiddos who had very short attention spans, would stand at the easel, place the magnets on the easel and draw the missing pre-writing strokes. They loved wiping the surface clean and doing it again and again.
This has inspired me to make the Fun Strokes program available for all preschool kiddos. All kids will benefit from being prepared for school. There are so many challenges to school success, let’s not let handwriting be one of them. What good is a house without a strong foundation? Before little ones enter kindergarten, give them the foundation they need for handwriting success, the Fun Strokes program.