Have you Tried Tactile Sensory Feedback to Improve Handwriting?
This week we are looking at activities to support letter formation using tactile sensory feedback.
What is tactile sensory feedback?
The tactile system (sense of touch) is the largest sensory system in the body and is used primarily to help send and receive information from our environment/body to our brains.
Each time we touch something, the receptors on our skin pick up on different sensations, which are then transported through our central nervous system to our brain for processing.
Creating tactile sensory feedback is the simple act of using a tactile stimulus (such as touching sandpaper) to assist our brains to receive, organise and process information through our sensory system.
How does Tactile Sensory Feedback assist in handwriting?
Adding or increasing tactile sensory feedback in handwriting is a great way to promote an interest in handwriting and bring attention to letter formation, as it allows a child to slow down, bring awareness to how their pencil is moving and take their time to feel the pressure of the pencil on the page.
Increasing tactile sensory feedback is a great way to promote handwriting or mark-making practice for children who are working on letter and number formation, letter reversals, understanding pencil pressure on the page, and line placement (writing on lines!)
Improving Tactile Sensory Feedback with our Sandpaper Letter Writing Activity
I love this activity as it’s such a simple activity to do, with minimal preparation (or clean-up!).
We have chosen to work with sandpaper as it’s a brilliant medium to help create proprioceptive feedback and input through the pencil/crayon as your child writes.
What will You Need
- Place your piece of sandpaper on the table
- Place your activity sheet on top of the sandpaper
- Add your Crayon Rocks to the table in a place where your child can easily reach them.
[TIP] Offering and working with an assortment of different grades of sandpaper is a great way to vary this activity. A fine grit will provide less sensory feedback and a more coarse grit will provide more sensory feedback. You may like to give your child the opportunity to choose their own sandpaper grade and observe the differences between different sandpaper grades.
Let's Get Started
- Introduce the activity to your child. Allow them time to carefully observe and explore what’s in front of them.
- Ask your child to select their favourite colour Crayon Rock.
- When your child is ready, gently prompt them to begin writing or mark-making on the paper using the Crayon Rocks.
- Allow your child to write/draw on the page uninterrupted. By not interrupting a child, we allow them to remain fully focused and absorbed in the activity, noticing all the sensations, textures and sensory input.
- When your child naturally breaks or pauses from writing, take this opportunity to enquire and discuss the experience, making note to mention any textures and differences they may notice.
- We recommend using this activity for short periods each day (while your child attention holds) and/or repeating it on a regular basis.
[TIP] Asking Your Child to observe the activity in front of them is easy. Prompt your child to run their fingers over the paper, ask your child if they can notice anything different about the texture or how the paper feels? Ask them what they can notice about the shapes, lines, colours on the page.
Would you like to try working with sandpaper to help improve tactile sensory feedback?
Do you have any questions regarding this weeks blog? I’d love to hear from you.