Dough for Handwriting Development—great for those with Autism, Down Syndrome, and other special needs

Marnie headshot-2015Dough is a great way for parents, teachers, and therapists to address hand strengthening for writing. Playing with dough offers an important sensory component for children. It is resistive and requires in-hand manipulation to make different shapes. Children with Autism, Down Syndrome, and other special needs see dough as a way to create. Since creative activities are critical for a child’s development, phrase and discuss the ideas and creativity each child displays during play time with dough.

As a therapist, I try to structure the time I work with children to always address hand development for better handwriting. I like to take pictures of the dough we are using and have the children copy the image they see. This may require them to make a “birthday cake” or “3 pancakes”. I like to demonstrate with two hands (using bilateral coordination) how to roll a ball to build a “snowman”. Using cookie cutters and rolling pins is a fantastic way to address hand strengthening.   Another idea in the classroom or at home is to roll out the dough into “snakes” and make letters out of them. I hope you find your own creative ways to address handwriting development through the use of this fun and effective product.

rolling dough

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