Refining Motor Skills to Help Students with Dysgraphia

Refining Motor Skills to Help Students with Dysgraphia

In a previous post we reviewed activities that strengthen gross motor skills to help a student struggling with dysgraphia or writing.  Today, let’s refine these activities and focus more on fine motor skills.

Following are some tips that will be easy to use and help your child or student should he/she exhibit any symptoms of motor dysgraphia.

* Get a pencil gripper if your child has an incorrect pencil grip. These can be found at any teacher supply store or at

* Have your child pin potato chip bag clips onto a plastic container or bucket.  First, the student clips them on, and then he/she un-clips them.

* Purchase colored aquarium sand and bury varied small items in it.  The student uses his/her dominant hand to dig through the sand to find the hidden items.

* Have your child use clay or play dough.  Pound away!  Squish like crazy!  Punch that dough!  If your child is old enough, have him/her form letters, both capital and lower case out of the clay.  You can proceed to making words and sounding them out.

* Spray bottles are wonderful. Take your child outside and have him/her spray anything desired. For more fun, make the water colored with food coloring.

* Have your child wash the windows, or anything that involves a rag and a swirling, washing movement. As an added component, he/she can spray the window first with a spray bottle or squirt gun.

* Fill balloons with flour or cornstarch and secure them tightly.  The student can decorate the filled balloon with a Sharpie and then squish it like crazy to strengthen hand muscles.

* Get a pumpkin or another kind of large produce.  Buy some large nails or tacks.  Have the student hammer the nails into the produce.  Be sure that safety measures are taken, and then watch the fun!

* Buy large bolts and nuts at a hardware store.  The student can screw and unscrew the bolts and nuts, which is not only fun, but it strengthens hand muscles that affect writing.

As we continue to refine these motor skills, keep in mind that we’re attacking this first stage of dysgraphia, and like all stages of learning, the larger skill of writing is being broken down into varied and smaller components, that once built up will amount to learning success!

Happy writing,



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