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OT Corner: 10 Suggestions to Reduce Pencil Pressure

[Source: Your Therapy Source]

When students press too hard during handwriting tasks, the hand can fatigue, paper can rip and legibility may decrease.  Recently, a reader asked for tips and suggestions to help decrease pencil pressure for when students press too hard during handwriting tasks.  Here are 10 suggestions to help children reduce pencil pressure when writing:

  1. Write on carbon paper – the child has to write softly so the marks barely go through the paper.
  2. Color using shading to demonstrate that different shades require a different amount of pressure.  Try this free Shade Wisely activity or Missing Monster freebie.
  3. Provide extra input to the hands before the students write.  Warm up by squeezing a stress ball or upper extremity weight bearing activities such as wheelbarrow walking, Proprioceptive Poems, animal walks or wall push ups.
  4. Fine tune the fingers and grip with clothespin activities.  Try the free Ninja Clothes Pin activity.  Play some visual perceptual clothes pin games. Make clothes pin silly faces.

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