Wind-Up toys are so fun! No young child could resist playing with a collection of wind up toys, probably for quite a long time, but little do they realize.....they are developing the hand strength, finger coordination, and fine motor skills they need for writing with a pencil. Use wind up to toys to help children develop their kindergarten writing skills by learning the correct pencil grip that will lead to greater control and beautiful writing later. You'll need a collection of wind up toys. These are readily available in many stores, usually for under $5.00 each. Get a new one each time you go, and over time you'll have a whole collection.
The youngest children will enjoy watching while you wind up the toys and let them dance, move, race, crawl, hop, flip, or do whatever else they do. As the children get older, gently teach them how to carefully twist the little knob to wind up the toys. When you take a moment to look closely, you'll see how the position of fingers for winding up these toys is almost exactly the correct pencil grip they'll need later. The main difference is that wind up toys are more fun than handwriting worksheets! If your child is having a lot of trouble with learning correct pencil grip, then back up a step, stop doing writing worksheets for awhile, and let them practice their correct pencil grip on wind up toys instead, because more fun means they'll get more practice.
Once they know how to use wind up toys and can be trusted to be careful, children can be left alone for quite awhile and they'll have a great time. Handy tip: let them practice and learn with the wind up toys that are not your favorite ones, just in case a knob gets broken off while they are learning.
If you keep your collection put away in a shoebox or other container and only get it out now and then, it will remain an exciting, fun, and special activity. The kitchen table is hard and flat and makes a great area for playing with wind up toys. You can set up your young child at the table with a box of wind up toys while you make supper, and have a nice fun visit with them, while they are happily playing (and learning correct pencil grip, too). Try it!