Writing Boards


However you use the board, always begin by showing the child how to use it by giving a demonstration.


Horizontal placement (flat)

Sitting: Try to imitate how a child needs to sit at school. The child should sit upright on a chair with feet placed flat on the floor facing a desk. Put the board flat on the desk. The non- dominant hand holds the board steady while the dominant hand “writes.”

Lying: The child lies on the stomach. The non-dominant hand supports the body while the dominant hand “writes.” This position is more tiring but it is good for strengthening spinal, stomach and neck muscles.

Vertical placement: (upright)

Sitting: The child can hold the board up with the non-dominant hand and “write” using the dominant hand. This position will strengthen arm and shoulder muscles, and work on core strength if the child is sitting upright.

Standing: Place the board against a vertical surface so it is supported (on the lip of a whiteboard or flipchart stand). The child again stabilises the board with the non-dominant hand and “writes” with the dominant hand. This position is very good for arm and shoulder strength, core strength and for some children working in this unusual position stimulates their attention for the activity.


Please note that correct pencil grip is only expected in children in the Grade R year and should be consolidated by the end of that year. Before that, pencil grip can be encouraged, not forced.

Pencil grip: The three-point grip using the thumb, index and middle finger is the most effective and should be encouraged.

Pencil control: The child should write using the fingers only, not the hand or arm. If the pencil grip and pencil control are in place, the correct pressure and work pace should follow. When using the board, if the child presses too hard the pen will get stuck, and if pressed too lightly, the pen tip will slip out of the groove


Make sure that the environment is quiet and tranquil for the child to concentrate while practicing writing. But, don’t restrict yourself. These boards keep children busy on long journeys, in queues, and whenever there are pockets of time that need to be filled.


Anyone! Children of all ages, cultures, languages, and abilities can benefit from using the boards. The boards can be used at home with parental guidance, at school with teachers guidance and in a therapeutic situation such as Occupational Therapy.


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