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Losing Our Grip
October 23, 2018
If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.
-Tom Stoppard

In her article, “Losing our grip: More students entering school without fine motor skills,” author Kimberly Marselas explains, “teachers and occupational therapists say an increasing number of children are showing up for kindergarten without the fine motor skills needed to grip a marker, hold their paper still while coloring or cut and glue shapes.”

Marselas quotes teachers in Denver who “estimate just two of 20 students arrive with enough hand strength and coordination to use scissors. Only about half can hold a pencil correctly, versus the fisted approach they should have grown out of by age 3.

“Why is this happening more and more?” Marselas asks. She quotes an occupational therapist, Linda Cunningham, who says, “It’s just our busy world. There’s real pressure to get your kid involved (in organized activities) earlier and earlier, so there’s less time to play in the backyard. … Kids need to manipulate their environments to understand spatial concepts.”

And, in a related article that forms the basis for an "Out of the Box" Training Kit, ”Teaching Children to Become Writers,”  Evelyn Lieberman discusses teacher support of young children’s early writing. She explains that her experience has been that “there is very little acknowledgement or recognition of young children’s early writing abilities from two-year-old’s scribbling to four-and five-year old’s name writing.”

Source: “Losing our grip: More students entering school without fine motor skills,” by Kimberly Marselas, LancasterOnline; October 26, 2015

Source: “If you want children to become writers, ask them to write their name,” by Evelyn Lieberman, Exchange magazine, July/August 2009

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