Benefits of Working on a Vertical Surface

There are many reasons to use a vertical surface like an easel or whiteboard when working with children. Children attain so much more by simply changing tabletop activities to vertical surface activities. Here are the many benefits the child will gain:

  • Develops strength and stability in the joints and muscles of the arm
  • Encourages correct wrist position, which facilitates hand stabilization and correct pencil grasp
  • Builds eye-hand coordination
  • Builds core strength by engaging the muscles that connect our upper and lower body, which supports a good upright posture
  • Provides sensory input by allowing for movement and the ability to change position while standing or kneeling to work
  • Develops spatial awareness as directional terms like up, down, and across are easier to understand when they are in relation to our own body
  • Encourages visual attention because the child is working at eye level, which can be very helpful for children who struggle with looking at what they are doing
Benefits of Working On A Vertical Surface

What You Can Do:

  • Draw, color, paint on an easel versus tabletop whenever possible
  • Tape coloring sheets/worksheets to wall/window
  • Pushpin art: place a coloring sheet on a cardboard surface taped to the wall and trace the outline of the image using a push pin with adult supervision
  • Be creative with finger painting on an easel or whiteboard by using shaving cream and food coloring
  • Draw on a window or mirror using dry erase markers
  • Bath art using tub crayons
  • Place stickers on paper adhered to wall and play connect-the-stickers
  • Use the Fun Strokes Pre-Writing Program
Fun Strokes is an innovative pre-writing program that is taught on a vertical surface.
Fun Strokes is an innovative pre-writing program that is taught on a vertical surface.

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So whenever the opportunity presents itself, build your child’s fine motor skills by working on a vertical surface!


The Fun Strokes blog is designed for educational and informational use only for teachers, therapists, and parents. It is not intended as medical advice or therapeutic treatment that would be provided in an individualized treatment plan. If you suspect a child has delays, please consult an occupational therapist.

Published by Linda Craig Dennis

Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Author and Creator of Fun Strokes Pre-writing Program

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