Back when you were in school, you would not have thought about the developmental benefits of writing and working on the vertical surface of the chalkboard. But Lauren Drobnjak, a leading pediatric therapist encourages children to work on vertical surfaces and list out the reasons for the same.
Why Should Kids Work on a Vertical Surface?
1. Enhances Shoulder Stability:
The use of larger vertical surfaces such as chalkboards or walls allows children to use bigger arm movements that encourage strength and flexibility throughout the joints and muscles of the upper extremities. The hands get a hefty boost of strengthening as it works against gravity to draw vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines.
2. Bilateral Coordination:
Using a stencil on a vertical surface is a tough skill, even for adults. For kids, tracing an object, using a stencil, or even just stabilising their paper to write on an upright surface requires the use of both hands. It requires determination and strength to hold the object that is being traced.
3. Midline Crossing:
When the kid is writing or drawing across a large vertical surface, they have to cross the midline of their body with their dominant hand to reach all of the spaces. For children who are struggling with midline crossing and establishing a strong hand dominance, this is great practice.
4. Pencil Grasp:
Vertical surface writing naturally puts the wrist in an extended position which encourages hand stabilization for better pencil grasp and control of writing utensils.
5. Visual Attention:
While Working on a vertical surface, the task becomes closer to the child’s eyes. This helps kids who have difficulty maintaining visual attention to activities.
6. Hand-eye Coordination:
Writing or drawing on a vertical surface can help to encourage their hand-eye coordination, as the child has a better view of what they are doing.
7. Spatial Awareness:
When a child works on a large vertical surface, they learn directional terms much easier such as up, down, left, right. The child can relate the words to their very own body.
Working at a vertical surface may be beneficial for restless kids. They work better in a standing position than sitting at a desk.
8. Strengthening muscles:
Working in a kneeling or standing position at an upright surface gives kids a good dose for the strengthening of the core muscles. There’s no slumping or leaning on the back of the chair – the only choice is to engage those core and back muscles to maintain the upright posture.
Some Vertical Surface Activities:
There are tons of fun ways to play and work using a vertical surface. Here are some of the kids' favourites:
- Have the child stick stickers on the wall at different levels and then give him directions for which stickers to touch.
- Tape a piece of paper to the wall and let them trace objects or stencils.
- Decorate the windows with window clings.
- Play with magnets or magnetic toys on the refrigerator.
- Draw and colour with chalk on a chalkboard and erase it.
- Writing with dry erase markers or window markers on a window or hanging mirror.
- Help you in washing the car or two-wheeler.
- Play with Inkmeo AR App on Inkmeo Wall Colouring Rolls.
- Pick any one of the 12 themes of Inkmeo Rolls and let them colour it using crayons.
Read more about why do you need to encourage your toddler to scribble and draw from our next post.