Recently, I received a question about a student who is having difficulty applying pencil pressure when writing. The therapist was having some success using markers but was looking for other suggestions. Here are 10 ideas to increase pressure when writing:
- Try using markers or gel pens to make marks instead of pencils.
- Use a weighted pencil or hand/wrist weights to increase input to the hand. Check out Therapy Fun Zone for a DIY Weighted Pencil.
- Write on carbon paper – the child has to press hard to make the marks go through the paper.
- Poke holes through paper to provide an example of applying pressure – check out these free Picture Poke cards.
- Put paper over bumpy material such as rough sandpaper or plastic needlepoint canvas. Write on the paper and you will have some tactile feedback.
- Color using shading to demonstrate that different shades require a different amount of pressure. Try this free Shade Wisely activity or Missing Monster freebie.
- Use a dull pencil, golf tee or wooden dowel to write in clay.
- Warm up by squeezing a stress ball or upper extremity weight bearing activities such as wheelbarrow walking, Proprioceptive Poems, animal walks or wall push ups.
- Strengthen the fingers and grip with clothespin activities. Try the free Ninja Clothes Pin activity. Play some visual perceptual clothes pin games. Make clothes pin silly faces.
- Strengthen the fingers with hole punch activities. Try punching out the matching shapes or these shape people punches. If a traditional hole punch is too difficult try this type of hole punch.
Do you have any suggestions or tips to add to the list?