S.M.A.R.T. at Home 03/18

Have you ever shockingly discovered your child has scribbled on the walls? Odds are you've had the pleasure of parenting through this behavior because most children have engaged in the act of writing on walls. Once upon a time, children used large chalkboards for lessons and painted at easels. They drew with sidewalk chalk on brick walls and sprayed them off with a hose. But why is working on vertical surfaces so attractive and beneficial for children?

Large movements lead to fine movements. Full arm movements provide the foundation for hand and wrist development. In order for children to have success with fine motor tasks such as handwriting, cutting, buttoning, etc they must build up strength and flexibility in their shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand.

You can build this strength by doing fun activities on vertical surfaces. Chalkboards, whiteboards, and easels are all great places to encourage drawing and writing. But what if you don’t have those at home?

Tape up large pieces of paper on a door or wall surface for children to draw on. Younger children can peel and stick stickers to the paper. Some parents have used leftover wrapping paper or paper grocery bags as a paper surface for children to create art on.

Try doing some work on a sliding glass door or window with erase markers. BONUS: Your child can clean with window afterwards! Shaving cream on windows can also be fun yet fairly simple to wipe off. Target  and Amazon carry window crayons designed for drawing on glass surfaces guaranteed to wipe clean.

If you are feeling very brave and adventurous this mom has a window paint recipe for you here.

Want more fun ideas?

Check out this resource Why Kids Should Work on a Vertical Surface for a long list of ideas that encourage children of all ages to develop the foundation for fine motor success. Magnets, legos, stencils, squirt bottles, and more!