Kumon First Steps Workbooks as Therapy

31 Dec

I think I found these workbooks at Target and thought they looked cute and appealing, so I picked them up in the hope that they could help Jenna and maybe keep her occupied on rainy days. Little did I know how much I’d come to love them!

From their website:

The Kumon First Steps series is designed for young children, aged 2 and up, who have never used a workbook before. The colorful and easy exercises in each First Steps workbook provide toddlers with the opportunity to become comfortable with the tools that are essential in every school – scissors, glue, pencils and crayons. These workbooks also teach the motor skills and problem-solving abilities that are a child’s First Steps towards success.

Jenna is four, but due to her cerebral palsy and developmental delays, she still struggles with many fine motor skills.  I have found these workbooks to be excellent at encouraging her to practice and teaching her in the process.

Today, we used the Let’s Cut Paper! workbook, and Jenna was thrilled.  We’re almost finished with this one, and her skills have increased to the point where she’s actually beyond the skill level presented, but it’s still excellent practice.  The book includes instructions for parents that are clear and easy to follow.  The stated goals are:

Develop fine motor skills: Your child will improve finger strength and dexterity.  This will help your child hold and use a pencil correctly, which is an important skill for more advanced learning.

Improve Scissor Control:  The exercises in the book are designed to teach children scissor control skills in order of difficulty.  Cutting by opening and closing scissors once (one stroke), cutting along a line by opening and closing scissors repeatedly, and cutting easily along straight lines, curves and zig zags.

Enhance children’s sense of shape:  As children cut along straight lines and curves or cut out circles and animals, they will associate words such as “straight” and “curved” with the shapes they represent.

The artwork and project ideas are colorful, enchanting and, most of all, engaging and fun.  It’s definitely a good sign that Jenna asks me to get the workbook out so she can practice!  Here’s an example from the artwork inside:

The dark gray lines indicate where to cut, and the white arrows indicate the direction.  Zig zag lines that require a change of scissor direction mark the point to change direction with a white star on the gray line.  Brilliant!

Other workbooks in the series that we’ve tried and love include Let’s Color! and Let’s Sticker & Paste!  I’ve seen all of these at Target, Barnes & Noble and at Amazon online.  Kumon also offers workbooks for older kids to promote additional skills.  I’m sure we’ll be trying those out as well.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or reimbursed in any way for this product review.  This is simply a personal endorsement for a product that we love and have found to work well, in the hope that maybe it can also help others.


6 responses to “Kumon First Steps Workbooks as Therapy

  1. PrincessJenn

    December 31, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    These look so cool! I’m going to see if I can find some for V

  2. psychmamma

    January 1, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    PrincesJenn –

    If you can’t find them there, let me know & I’ll get you some & send them!!

  3. Barbara Boucher, OT,PhD,PT

    January 3, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Nice recommendation! And your blog is way-cool-looking! Changed since I was here last.

  4. punkinmama

    January 6, 2011 at 1:43 am

    I recently discovered Kumon Workbooks too! I got several of their maze books for Punkin because he is obsessed with mazes! These workbooks are such good quality!

  5. psychmamma

    January 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    punkinmama –

    Ooooh! Will have to check those out! Jenna loves mazes, too. Thanks for the tip!

  6. psychmamma

    January 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Barbara –

    Thanks for your lovely compliments and for stopping by again!


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