Most writing, drawing, coloring, and playing occurs on a tabletop or floor, both horizontal surfaces.
While these surfaces are convenient because toys stay in place, they also encourage poor posture.
Playing on horizontal surfaces can lead to poor posture from slouching, hunching forward, and limiting arm movement.
The truth is, when children work on a vertical surface, they are gaining so many developmental benefits:
- It improves wrist extension and pencil grasp.
- It naturally puts the wrist in an extended position which encourages better pencil grasp and fine motor control of writing utensils.
- It helps to improve dexterity and control.
- It improves shoulder and elbow stability.
- It allows children to use bigger arm movements which provide strength and flexibility to joints and muscles of the arms and shoulders.
- Stabilizing the paper to write on an upright surface requires the use of both hands which improves bilateral coordination.
- Work in a kneeling or standing position at a vertical surface improves core strength and posture and allows children to engage abdominal and back muscles to maintain upright posture.
- It improves children’s ability to naturally cross the midline of their bodies because the dominant hand must reach all the spaces of the surface.
To add to this great learning experience, I like to use big papers for communal projects and use this opportunity to encourage social interaction and teamwork.