Monday, March 18, 2013

Fine Motor Skills..... Write Out of the Box

I am Marianne Gibbs (Dr. Mari) and thrilled to be a new contributing author to PreK and K Sharing!  As an occupational therapist, national early childhood educational speaker, and creator of Fine Motor Skills…Write Out of the Box, I address fine motor development of young children via keynotes, once-in-a-lifetime workshops, resource materials, and consultation in the Early Childhood community. In addition, I am a contributing author to the Frog Street Press Pre-K curriculum, Benson Handwriting programs, and the owner of Gibbs Consulting, Incorporated. My passion is supporting the appropriate development of young children and elevating educational practices and life-long outcomes for children beyond expectations! 

photo of: Write Out of the Box: Fine Motor Skills at PreK+K Sharing

It is my pleasure to be communicating with you on the 18th of each month regarding fine motor development and its critical role to future handwriting efficiency in young children. Please leave any questions you may have in the comment section below so I may address them in future articles.

Let the sharing begin…Write Out of the Box!

Have you ever found yourself saying, “Hold it right” to a young child who is trying to hold a pencil? If you have, you know these words alone simply do not work. Acquisition of an efficient pencil grasp is a process of pattern development. An efficient pencil grasp involves three fingers holding the pencil: Thumbkin, Pointer, and Middleman. I call these the Busy Fingers and they make up the tripod grasp. When Ringman and Pinky hold a Pillow (cotton ball or pom pom) and "go to sleep," the Busy Fingers are ready to play! The Busy Fingers can effectively hold and move a pencil, crayon, or tool while the Sleeping Fingers help to stabilize and support the child's hand and grasp.

photo of: Fine Motor Development on the 18th Monthly at PreK+K Sharing with Dr. Mari

I love to use singing to convey this simple strategy for holding a pencil correctly. Check out my “Fingers and Pillows” song, which is available in English and Spanish to help teachers and parents teach proper positioning for pencil grasp. By adding in simple hand movements (sing the song and you'll see what I mean) we can teach children about Busy Fingers, Sleeping Fingers, and Pillows. This is a fun way to teach students how to hold a pencil efficiently in a child-friendly way!

Follow these links to receive a FREE Pdf version of my piggy-back song lyrics: 

English Version of "Fingers and Pillows" Song Lyrics 
Spanish Version of "Fingers and Pillows" Song Lyrics

I'm already looking forward to my sharing next month! 

Marianne Gibbs, Houston Occupational Therapist

Marianne Gibbs, EdD, OTR/L
Write Out of the Box


  1. I love the song! Pinned and shared.

    1. Great! Pass along to everyone in service to young children!

  2. Helpful Site…
    Thank you so much for providing individuals with a very terrific possibility to read from this
    Web site.
    Montessori Programs

    1. Thank YOU for your feedback! Together, we become stronger difference-makers!

  3. pinned to my wonderful writing ideas and lessons Pinterest board, thanks, words alone do not help, your song and suggestions will help


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