I have a challenge in my life: my son’s dominant hand is different than mine (and everyone else’s in our family). He is left-handed! It has been a challenge teaching him how to hold his pencil correctly, how to cut, and even how to tie his shoes (didn’t know they do it differently). I wanted to share a couple of tricks I have learned through the last couple of years.
Holding a pencil:
I had an occupational therapist show this one to me back in my teaching days (you can also do this with a right-handed child). She said that using a small pencil, like a golf pencil, is a great way to teach correct hand formation for any child. The importance of correct hand position makes a huge difference in the future of their writing. I know I don’t hold my pencil correctly and my hand easily gets tired.
Anyway, put the pencil on the table, like this:
Have your child place their first two fingers on one side of the pencil and their thumb on the other. Make sure they hold near the bottom (my son’s hand should be lower):
Flip the pencil back so it rests on their hand (it should rest all the way back, in the crook; we didn’t quite get it there):
There you go!
Here is a song I use for helping children remember the correct way to hold their pencils.
Cutting with scissors:
This one is hard to explain, especially to tiny children. So, what I did was place my hand over his, like this (his wrist should be straight, but it’s hard to do it and take pictures at the same time!):
Worked for us, and now he knows!
This is a skill we are currently working on and is HARD!! Many left-handed people tie their shoes like their right-handed counterparts because that is how they were taught. But technically, they do it opposite.
So, to teach your child, sit in front of them instead of next to them and have them mirror what you do!
Any tricks you’ve learned that you could share with us?