How to Help Left-Handers with Writing and Fine Motor Tasks?
I just learned that 13th August is Lefties Day. I never knew this till now. 🙂
So, in celebration of Lefties, I thought I’d share some of my top tips:
- While sitting at a table or in a classroom, it is best when Lefties sit on the left side of the table or even the room as they tend to turn their body a bit to the right. This way if seated on the left side, they can more easily turn toward others and the teacher to see what’s going on.
- If you’re a rightie and want to teach your leftie an activity, have them sit in front of you and mirror you.
- The top of their paper will be tilted about 20-30 ish degrees to the right. You can put a piece of tape on their desk to show where to place the top of the paper.
- Make sure to have access to left-handed tools such as pencils (esp if using Stabilo etc), scissors, tools with handles, potato peelers, and sports equipment such as gloves and rackets. If using pencil grips, just check if there’s a leftie version needed (some do and some don’t). **See note below.
- Explore which pens and markers to use as there’s likely some ‘smudging’ due to the way the left hand will rub over the writing as it goes across the lines. Explore felt tip markers versus fountain pens for instance.
- Check out www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk for more information and to see their ‘store’ where everything is easily accessible in one place
- Note that lefties will sometimes cross their letters from right-to-left
- Lefties will naturally hook their wrist a bit while writing, some more than others.
- Consider notebooks used when writing as any rubbing of binder edges will be uncomfortable on the left hand. Perhaps flip-top ones may be better or turning the spiral bound so you write towards it instead.
If children are able to figure out how to use ‘regular’ utensils, this may be ideal because then they can use whatever is available wherever they go. E.g. Scissors. However, for some children who struggle with strength and coordination, it may be easier for them to use special left-handed items. For those who want to be very skilled in certain sports, they may also look for a specifically left-handed tool as this may allow them to be even more dexterous in that sport.
There are lots of things to consider really while writing and manipulating objects based on the child’s strengths, needs, and interests.
As always, there’s never just one way, and we must take into consideration the child’s individual needs.
Hope this is useful. Do share if you have any other tips. If you’d like to receive some free tips on fine motor and hand strengthening activities, do sign up here for my free tips and news.