There are many different ways to teach a child. Preschool care implements many different methods to give your child the best experience as well as to teach them in the most effective manner. One of these methods is vertical surface working. It has been used for years and has shown to be quite effective.
What is Vertical Surface Working?
A lot of the fine motor skills of children are taught using a horizontal surface like a table or the floor. Children are often taught to write, draw and colour in on these horizontal surfaces. However, this can negatively affect some aspects of your child’s development. There is limited movement and the hunched over position could affect their posture. Vertical surface working is a surface that goes up and down like a chalkboard or paper tapes onto a wall. These activities have to be creative because it is difficult to incorporate props as they will fall off the surface.
What are the Benefits of Vertical Surface Working?
The upright position strengthens the abdomen and back of your child. Their bodies are not constantly in an unnatural position so their posture will not be negatively affected. Your child can move and learn in whichever position they find most comfortable. They can sit, kneel, or stand based on what they prefer and slouching is not an option.
The surface area is bigger so their arms and shoulders move a lot more. This improves their strength and coordination. It creates strength and flexibility in the joints and muscles of the arms and shoulders. Fine motor skills usually start off as large movements and then become more refined movements that are smaller. The vertical surface working used in preschool care works with this progression as the surface area is larger and requires bigger movements.
The vertical surface promotes the correct wrist position as well as the correct head and neck position.
Preschool care uses this method because it allows your child to use both hands when working. This encourages integration of information from both sides of the brain. It allows them to establish strong hand dominance.
Working on a large surface helps your child understand spatial awareness. It makes directional terms like a lot easier to understand due to the position of the surface. The surface is on the same plane as the body of your child.
It is easier for your child to see what they are doing because their hands are right in front of them. This will help them to coordinate their eyes and hand movements.
Vertical Surface Working Ideas to Incorporate at Home or in the Classroom
There are many ways that preschool care implements this method to help your child develop fine motor skills. Some activities include:
- Magnets on the fridge or on a board
- Easels. You can use paint or chalk for this activity depending on the material you choose
- Large piece of paper taped to the wall
- Suction cup toys that can stick to a mirror or flat surface
- Stickers on the wall, mirror or paper taped to the wall
- Prop electronic tablets at an angle and allow your child to use a stylus to improve their grasp
- Use Velcro to stick pictures onto a felt board