Vertical Writing – Building Fine Motor Skills

If you are like me, you have at least a handful of students still struggling with fine motor skills.  There are so many muscles in the hands that contribute to pencil grip and handwriting!  This post is just a quick tip for one more way to build that hand strength to help young writers.

Our occupational therapist recommends “vertical writing” (or coloring) as a method for building wrist and hand strength.  This different angle forces the child to use and strengthen important muscles in their hands.  You just clip or hang their work on a vertical surface, and then have them complete the activity standing.  This also naturally encourages them to use their non-dominant hand as a stabilizing hand, which can be difficult to get some kids to do.

The novelty of this alone will engage and motivate young kids!  I think I might try vertical writing as part of our handwriting center next week.

Do you use vertical writing?  What are your tips and tricks for building hand strength?

2 Responses to Vertical Writing – Building Fine Motor Skills

  1. Jane January 9, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    Hi Karen

    This is a great idea, thanks for sharing!
    Last year I had a few children who needed to develop fine motor control, one in particular who needed a lot of help.
    I haven’t met my new class yet but I think I will use this activity anyway because, as you say, it is fun and motivating because it is a bit different, and if it helps them develop better muscle strength then all the better!


    • Teaching Ace January 9, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

      Hi Jane! I am glad this will be helpful! It makes sense really… Young children used to spend a lot of time painting at easels (and hopefully still do!) This is a great strength builder, and obvious precursor for the vertical writing. My kids just think they are both fun! Best of luck!