Writing out Valentine’s Day cards can be a challenge for kids with fine motor difficulties! It’s also a great activity to practice handwriting and an opportunity to work on these skills at home. Here are some adaptations to make it a more enjoyable task for you and your child!
1. Only have them write their name. It’s not always necessary to write every students name (or you can do it for them).
2. Write their name or the classmate names in thick highlighter and have them trace (avoid dotted lines…they are way too small and challenging especially on these kind of cards)!
3. TRY to have them write something…even if it’s the first letter of their name and you finish the rest. This is great practice. If you do this draw a rectangle to write the first letter inside to practice control and spatial awareness.
4. Make a top and bottom line to write inside. LINES always help, especially for legibility and spatial awareness…as long as there aren’t too many. Too many lines can be visually confusing.
5. Break up the work! Start early and only write a few per day.
6. Use a pencil with a good eraser. They even make erasable colored pens (which I LOVE)!
7. Some of these cards require assembly which incorporate other great fine motor tasks! For example the cards in the picture below come with stencils (NOT CANDY 👍) and you have to weave them into the two holes, then fold, and add a sticker. That’s an awesome task but can be challenging. If you do most of the writing have your child complete the assembly.
8. If your child has NO interest and has a tantrum about completing it, don’t force them and try again when they’re in a happier mood. They could be anticipating the difficulty or thinking they will not be successful. If you really want them to complete this task you can even promise them a small reward for only writing the first letter of their name on every card. At least they participated in something and have some sort of success.
Writing out Valentine’s Day cards is not a necessity in life. Don’t feel pressured or stressed with this task. Do people even read them… or just search for the toys and candy?! Lol
However look at it as a way to practice fine motor skills at home because that is always beneficial. Valentine’s Day cards are just a fun way to practice.
If you’re unsure what level your child is at, feel free to contact me and I can suggest some ideas.
If you’re an OT or teacher, feel free to share these ideas with parents! 🙂 Happy writing!!!!