VISUAL LEARNING TOOL
Special needs children are often visually oriented so engaging in art- and craft-based activities can be a great learning tool. However, some children find overly busy or complex designs overwhelming and distracting so our visually simple designs are perfect for them.
FINE MOTOR SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
The techniques required to complete the Shapeeze activity tasks allow children to improve their fine motor skills – a key building block for childhood development and future academic success – which some special needs children need extra help with. Fine motor skills involve using the small muscles which control the hand, fingers and thumb which enable the child to use pencils and scissors, do up buttons and zips, tie shoe laces and use building toys such as Duplo or Lego. Without being able to complete these basic tasks, a child’s self esteem can suffer and may result in a poor academic performance and a lack of interest in school.
Desensitization and staying calm
Feedback from special needs parents, educators and members of ABIA indicates that using the materials in Shapeeze kits can assist with a child learning to stay calm and problem-solve should the paper rip or a pencil tip break, as well as aid desensitizing through tearing pages and paper.
Developing finger strength
Shapeeze was designed with fine motor skill development at it’s core. Pushing out the brightly coloured pre-cut shapes, applying the glue and fixing the shapes in place encourages finger strength and dexterity. To be effective, special needs activities need to be fun and engaging so children do not see it as a chore – instead, something they look forward to and can have fun with. Children with severe fine motor weakness may need some assistance with the press outs and for these children the larger A3 version would be recommended.
Encouraging good pencil grip
Our specially designed triangular barreled pencils are an important part of our special needs offering. They encourage correct hand positioning and are less likely to roll out of an unsteady hand helping your child to develop vital writing skills.
IMPROVING CONCENTRATION AND INDEPENDENCE
For children who struggle to follow verbal instructions, Shapeeze is the ideal activity as it is designed to be used independently so they can work on their own and build their problem-solving skills and self-confidence. Poor attention span is also a common issue for special needs children, but it is a skill which can be developed. The self-directed nature of the Shapeeze activities can help them to improve their ability to stay on task whilst the fun and engaging designs mean they are more likely to enjoy the activity and less likely to get bored. Moreover, each design is a short activity with a definite end which will allow your child to complete a task relatively quickly – an important feature for special needs children.
LETTER, NUMBER & SHAPE RECOGNITION
Shapeeze also offers a gentle reinforcement of letter, number and shape recognition – important for special needs children who are often so busy trying to keep up with their peers they miss key learning opportunities in the classroom.