The Easel: How to promote hand development and strength!

We love, love, love painting and drawing on easels! Not only does easel work contain your child’s art project to a specific area of the room, but the vertical surface “work” that is performed on the easel promotes hand and arm strengthening (have to hold their arm up against gravity), trunk strengthening (need to stand upright), and promotes hand development (most optimal position for hand movement).
Here are some fun and simple ideas for your easel:
• If your easel has a chalkboard, use different sized chalk and break the chalk pieces into smaller ones. Your little one will not be able to fist (using all the fingers on the chalk) the chalk and will be forced to use individual fingers.
• Before working on any letters, your child needs to work on making shapes and strokes. Vertical lines come first, followed by horizontal lines, circles, cross, diagonal lines, square, X, and finally a triangle (putting together all the strokes).
• Have your little one use a spray bottle to clean the board and dry the board with a washcloth or larger sponge. You can also cut the sponge into little pieces and use these small pieces to clean off the chalk marks.
• Tape simple coloring pages, mazes, and stencils with paper to again take advantage of the vertical surface.
• Tape white paper and have him finger paint or use a large paintbrush for painting. You can also just have your little one “paint” on the easel with just water and the paintbrush.
Enjoy the many ways to use a simple easel!!!!


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