10 Apples Up on Top Pre-Writing Activity

Ten Apples Up on Top is one of our favorite books.  We do love finding fun books to come up with creative book-related activities.  In fact, we’ve covered this book before.  Today though, I joining other bloggers in the first post in the Virtual Book Club for Kids series for this school year.  
The book, Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss is a great activity to us in a book club for kids and an awesome book for creative play and hands on learning. We went with an apple theme pre-writing activity based on the book and had so much fun working on pre-writing lines with Ten Apples Up on Top in mind!

Ten Apples Up on Top pre-writing activity

Ten Apples Up on Top book and pre-writing activity

This post contains affiliate links.
This activity is very easy to set up.  you’ll need only a few materials:
Red pony beads (We received ours from www.craftprojectideas.com)
To get started on this pre-writing activity, create small circles with a red marker on the paper.  This can be a job for the adult/parent/teacher/clinician.  The curcles should be about the size of the pony beads and you will want to make them going in two rows, one at the top of the page and one at the bottom of the page.  
You or your child can use the brown and green markers to add leaves and stems to each apple.
Show your child how to place a red pony bead on each circle.  Grasping the pony beads and placing them on the circles is an exercise in pincer grasp, opening of the thumb web space, and in hand manipulation.  Each of these skills is needed for proper pencil grasp and it makes this fine motor activity a great handwriting warm-up exercise.

Ten Apples Up on Top pre-writing activity
Then, you can show your child how to draw a line from the top apple to the bottom apple on the paper.  They can continue to draw vertical lines connecting each pair of apples.  They should draw the lines going from top to bottom to best prepare for correct letter formation.
After completing a page of top-to-bottom vertical lines, kids can repeat the exercise by drawing horizontal lines across a page to connect apples.
Continue to add complexity to pre-writing skills by having them connect lines in a cross sign, an “x” and even in circles and curved lines.  We had to make a stack of ten “apples” and trace the line of apples, too!
How many ways can you think of using these apple markers to work on handwriting and pre-writing?  Maybe creating letters and connecting the apples would be fun.
Or, try using just one apple as a starting point for forming letters once the child is ready.

Ten Apples Up on Top pre-writing activity
Looking for more apple themed activities to go along with the book, Ten Apples Up on Top?  Try these ideas from the Virtual Book Club for Kids:

Apple Theme Activities for Preschoolers

Magnetic Names Apple Picking – Preschool Powol Packets
How to Trace Your Name With Fingerprint Apples – Big Owl Little Owl Witty Hoots
Fine motor Apple Graphing Activity – Extremely Good Parenting
Ten Apples Up On Top File Folder Game – Views From a Step Stool
2 Ingredient Apple Scented Playdough– Rainy Day Mum
Finger Painted Apple Trees – Clares Little Tots
Play Dough Apple Stacking Activity – Inspiration Laboratories
Apple Snack for Kids – CraftCreateCalm
Preschool Learning Fun for Ten Apples Up on Top – Mama Smiles
Apple Color Mixing Science Experiment – Powerful Mothering
Colorful Spin Art Apple Banner for Kids– Toddler Approved
Ten Apples Up On Top Movement Activity – Still Playing School
Are Apples Round? Fun Ways for Exploring Shapes – Peakle Pie

Coban Pencil Grip

Pencil grips can be pricey, especially if you are buying a big batch to try and find the right fit for a single child.  Then, add a classroom of kids or a caseload of 50-60 children who each have different pencil gasps, different strengths, different handwriting quirks, and you can go pencil grip bankrupt!  This easy, DIY, custom-made, and cheap coban pencil grip is one that will work with every child no matter what their current pencil grasp looks like.  The secret weapon? Self-adhesive, removable (yet still totally stick-able and re-usable) coban!

Use coban to make a customized, re-usable, DIY pencil grip for improving pencil grasp, perfect for the whole classroom or OT clinic.
This activity is part of our month-long handwriting series where we are sharing creative and easy ways to address common handwriting issues in our 30 Easy Quick Fixes for Better Handwriting series.

You’ll also want to join the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Help Facebook group where you can find support and resources for handwriting. 

Coban Pencil Grip (A handwriting gripper secret weapon!)

This post contains affiliate links.

Use coban to make a customized, re-usable, DIY pencil grip for improving pencil grasp, perfect for the whole classroom or OT clinic.
What is coban??? Is a question you might be asking right now.  Perhaps you’ve seen it before.  If you’ve ever had a surgical wound or a bad wound of any kind, you might have come across coban before.  It’s a self-adherent wrap that works a lot like surgical tape.  It’s rally a pretty cool material.  It sticks to itself again and again and it requires no adhesive to stay in place.  My days as a hand therapist brings back memories of coban in my therapy tool box.  It’s a great device for applying compression to edema, immobilization, and a wrap to dressings.  

But it also makes a pretty awesome pencil grip!

Coban is unique in it’s ability to stick to itself, so why not use it to create a customized and DIY pencil grip?  Being that a roll of it is pretty inexpensive, you can create pencil grippers for every pencil in the pencil box as well as colored pencils, mechanical pencils, and even markers.  These writing tools usually don’t work with conventional pencil grips, but coban can be fit to any writing device.

Use coban to make a customized, re-usable, DIY pencil grip for improving pencil grasp, perfect for the whole classroom or OT clinic.
We tried a bunch of different writing tools and then made a variety of pencil grippers with the coban.  A child that needs just a tactile cue to pinch the tip of the pencil can use a thin ribbon of coban around the tip of the pencil.

The child that needs a molded form can have the coban built up at the top and end of the pencil grip.  (Just keep wrapping the coban around more to create more layers and a thicker portion.)

The child that uses too much pressure on the pencil could benefit from a foam-y thick layer of coban the whole way around the tip of the pencil.

The child that needs cues to open the thumb web space could have a small “pocket” of coban formed at the end of the pencil gripper. 

The possibilities are endless with this custom-made pencil grip material.

And the best part is that when the pencil needs sharpened, you peel off the coban and move it on up the pencil.

We used blue coban but here is a very inexpensive option for purchasing.  If you need a bunch of rolls for one or several classrooms, this bulk purchase might be a better deal. (Note: that bulk purchase is a 3 inch wide material. You can then cut the material to a thinner strip, essentially tripling the amount of coban you have on hand but also having a thicker material to fold for pencil grips.)

Here are a few tips for making your coban pencil grip:
Using a thicker width of coban is fine (it is available in a variety of widths) as it can easily be cut or folded to fit the needs of your child.  

When making your pencil gripper, fold the end of the coban over once to make a thicker end that will be easier to find and peel off when it comes time to sharpen the pencil or adjust the coban.

Let me know how this DIY pencil grip works for you!

Use coban to make a customized, re-usable, DIY pencil grip for improving pencil grasp, perfect for the whole classroom or OT clinic.

Looking for more ways to improve pencil grasp? Start here:

 Pencil Grasp Activity Pencil Grasp Exercise Thumb opposition activity

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