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Wednesday
Jul132011

Posture While Drawing or Writing

Handwriting instruction:
  1. demonstrates how letters are formed
  2. promotes a good pencil grasp and good posture
  3. encourages regular practice 
Posture
while Drawing or Writing

Generally, we think of sitting at a desk or table while drawing or writing, but we can also stand at an easel or blackboard, and there are those relaxing times when, with pencil and paper in hand, we lounge or cuddle.Standing While Drawing & WritingWriting or drawing while standing at a vertical surface—an easel, white board, or any vertical surface in a house (wall, fridge, glass door)—has these benefits:
  • the hand and forearm fall naturally in the correct position
  • arm movement is free—The heel of the hand is not “planted” in one position. When the hand is “planted”, movement is restricted to only the fingers.
  • downward strokes come naturally, which is similar to the top to bottom direction used when writing letters
Take the toddler out of the highchair so they can stand while they color and scribble. Let the four year-old draw a dog on the garage wall. Give the 7 year-old an easel. Challenge the 12 year-old to draw while standing.  Sitting While Drawing & WritingMost of our drawing and writing is done while sitting at a table. The arm rests on the surface of the table, stabilizing the hand and arm movement.
When sitting:
  • feet are flat on the floor (or a step stool or a stack of books)
  • knees are at the same level as the hips
  • arms, bent at the elbow, rest on the table top
  • shoulders are relaxed, not scrunched up toward the ears
Maintain the hand/wrist/arm position that is presented while standing. Watch for “planting” of the hand—the hand and forearm should rest on the table top and provide stabilization for the arm, but not constrict movement. The non-writing hand stabilizes the paper. Relaxing While Drawing & Writing Just as we like to see a child relaxing with a book, we love to see a child lounging with a pencil and paper. A relaxed posture while writing/drawing has it’s place and time, simply remember to include plenty of practice time in the standing and/or sitting positions. 

“Sit up straight.” — Marie Hablitzel

Climb a Tree to Improve HandwritingPlay Packs for Gross Motor SkillsPlaytime activities—swinging from bars on a jungle gym, climbing a rock wall or walking like a crab—develop the skills needed for good posture. See Play Packs: indoor play activities for strengthening gross motor skills.

The Desk and ChairLook for the following:
CHAIR: Use a child-size chair, or use an adult chair with books or a stool to support the feet. See a chair that adjusts as the child grows, and can be used at a standard-height table.
TABLE: Use a child-size table. See the adjustable table we’ve used for many years—we love it!
Balance and Posturebalance cushion is a simple therapy tool that engages the muscles used to “sit up straight”. An EaselAn easel has a slanted surface, which is more comfortable to work at than a straight up-and-down surface. 
  • Make a simple easel—lean a board against a wall. This could be an old bulletin board or whiteboard. Of course, stabilize the board at the top where it touches the wall and block the bottom.
  • Buy an easel designed for children, or build an easel.
Tummy-TimeInfants as well as 12 year-olds benefit from “tummy-time”. Therapist recommend that children lay on their stomach while propping their upper body with their arms. This position may be awkward for writing, but is fine while watching TV, reading or playing with small toys.

Reader Comments (1)

The tips are good but sometimes good posture is easier said than done. I don't take chances with my kids cause I dont want'em looking like huncbacks before they learn to drive. I emphasize and re-emphasis good posture all the time. I even make them play video games while lying on their stomachs looking up at the TV because it raises their heads instead of looking down at the TV, which is what happens when they slouch on the couch. We also use the body aline. It is an integral part of it all. www.improveposturenow.com. Good posture is tough at first and requires a multi-dimensional approach but once you get them in the habit its easy. I dont want my kids moping around the rest of their lives knowing that I can do something about it.
July 18, 2013 at 11:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeanne Backman

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