2C: Handwriting cool downs
Often, extended writing activities involve a great deal of concentration and a range of other skills and this can leave children tired. This won't just be hand fatigue because of the amount of writing that they have completed, but possibly mental and even emotional fatigue as well.
Before transitioning to another activity, it is a good idea to give them a chance to cool down, in order to relax their hands and to become ready for the next learning activity. A cool down activity is not necessarily a quiet one. This self care is an important skill which they should be encouraged to carry on and use in other areas of life.
Before you do any handwriting cool downs with young people for the first time, why not:
- Get them to think of activities where you need to do a stretch or cool down?
- Think about why cool downs or stretches are important?
- Show a stretch or cool down that they might do after that activity?
- Write a cartoon strip of a cool down sequence to break it down?
Click the arrow to expand each one or click here to expand all of the examples below:
Handwriting Cool Downs Learner Resources
The pictures and sequencing charts Cool Down 1 Visual Prompts and Cool Down 2 Visual Prompt can be used to provide visual prompts for different handwriting cool downs for desks or the whiteboard.
Children can also massage their hands using a textured ball to help hand sprain if needed as shown in subsequent sections.
Creating Your Own Handwriting Cool Downs
Imagine if you were doing the same exercises or eating the same food a few times a day. You would get bored of these activities, and your young people will get bored if you are just using the same sequences over and over again.
It is important to give your children the opportunity to create their own handwriting cool down sequences so they have ownership of them.
They can also collaborate with others on sequences and benefit from speaking and listening and drama opportunities as they perform their sequences in front of their classmates for them to copy.
Using calming music can also help learners to unwind after writing and prepare them for their next learning activity. Some excellent resources for this can be found on www.audio.lgfl.net
- Extended writing may be physically, mentally and emotionally fatiguing for learners
- Teaching cool downs and self care routines can help prepare them for their next learning activity
- Learners can become easily bored of cool down sequences so vary them and involve them in creating moves and sequences
- www.audio.lgfl.net – thousands of music tracks which can be searched by key word