School kids are having difficulty holding pencils and doctors say technology is to blame. Therapists at the Heart of England Foundation are concerned touchscreens on devices like phones and tablets are making it more difficult for children to build certain hand muscles that help them grip a pencil the right way.
It’s easy to entertain children with tablets but some parents forget muscle-buildings activities, like playing with tangible toys, help kids develop hand strength and dexterity. Therapists at the foundation told The Guardian that it’s good to let kids build, cut, pull and stick with their hands, rather than just tap.
Many schools recognize tablets are causing issues and instead use tablets in conjunction with real pencils for handwriting practice. Even a designer of the Leapfrog Tablet says it’s good to reduce interaction, stating, “Children under two years of age learn best from real-world experiences and interactions, and each minute spent in front of a screen-based device is a minute when your child is not exploring the world and using their senses, which is extremely important in their development process.”
So if your children rely a lot of their tablets, maybe grab a coloring book the next time you’re at the store.