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Dr. Marianela Diaz Meyer in einem Kindergarten22 February 2017

BR Frankenschau: fun motor skill exercises with scribble mentors

Dr. Marianela Diaz Meyer, Institute Director, and the scribble mentor Marcel Drießlein from the Markus Slany Tennis School visit the St. Marien Catholic Kindergarten in Eckenhaid and introduce preschool children to writing in a fun way. Dr. Christian Marquardt stresses the importance of fluid handwriting for later school success.

Dr. Marianela Diaz Meyer in einem KindergartenTogether with the other preschool children at St Mary’s, Amelie is energetically colouring in a clown with its arms outstretched. Here it is not a question of keeping exactly within the lines, but is instead about fluid movements. “Here the children unconsciously practise the basic movements that will later prove important for writing: finger mobility, wrist mobility and the combination of these two movements”, says Dr. Diaz Meyer.

By colouring a scrunched-up piece of paper – a wonderful mountain landscape – the children learn how much or how little pressure they need to scribble on the paper. Children often apply a lot of pressure when writing because they are worried about the pencil slipping out of their hand, or because their hand and finger joints do not move enough. If they have already internalised the various movements while in kindergarten, later on they will be able to write letters without their hands cramping.

Scribble mentors  do playful excercises with the children

Scribble mentors, who attend kindergartens for a few hours on a voluntary basis, show children how to draw lines and demonstrate simple but effective exercises, helping children to enjoy experimenting with pencil and paper. As part of the “Handwriting 2020 campaign”, the Schreibmotorik Institut is encouraging employees from different companies to get involved as “scribble mentors”.

Marcel Drießlein is one of the first scribble mentors. He helps the children, gives them tips and at the same time learns something for himself, too: “During a couple of the exercises, I realised that I had never learnt it properly when I was a child. You notice that the advice makes using a pencil significantly more efficient, you can draw for significantly longer.” And it is precisely this that is important later on when the children get to school: fluid and efficient handwriting. This is also stressed by Dr. Christian Marquardt in this feature on the TV channel Bayerischer Rundfunk: “From their third school year onwards, children have to write at speed from their third year at school. If they are unable to do so properly, handwriting becomes noticeably illegible. This jeopardises their chances of success at school.”

 

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