Reading and writing are crucial for school success, but in our anxiety to ensure that children acquire these skills we sometimes create problems. Teachers and parents sometimes push preschoolers in the technical skill of handwriting before the children have sufficient fine motor development for such exactness. At this age the muscles of the hands and wrists are still relatively weak and fine motor control is still not fully developed. Yet this is the age at which schools make intense demands in terms of teaching handwriting. WHY FINGER GYM? We can prepare children's hands for learning to write long before they have to pick up writing tools. When children start writing and drawing, their fingers and hands have to work as hard as a marathon runner s legs. No one tries to run a marathon without doing some training first. Finger Gym can provide that training. So why not have some fun getting those little fingers into training? Take your children to the Finger Gym and help their fingers and hands get ready for writing. WHAT IS FINGER GYM? Finger Gym is a comprehensive programme of developmental games, stories, rhymes and activities to improve fine motor skills, language and handwriting. It helps to develop strong, flexible fingers, hands and arms. It promotes better hand-eye coordination, differentiated movement and manual dexterity. It fosters children s use and understanding of spoken language. It builds cognitive abilities and provides opportunities to practise self-regulation. The time spent enjoying the games and activities in this book will help children to build the secure foundation required for the acquisition of legible, rapid and fluent handwriting. The charm of the programme is underpinned by sound pedagogical theory. The Finger Gym programme provides experiences and activities that are challenging, achievable and above all fun! You can do Finger Gym anywhere and anytime. All you need is your hands. WHO IS THIS RESOURCE FOR? Finger Gym is an invaluable resource for teachers, classrooms assistants, Early Years practitioners, teachers of English as a foreign or additional language, SEN coordinators, speech therapists, occupational therapists and parents of young children. It can be used at home. It can be used in the classroom, the corridor or the playground. It can be used with individuals, small groups or whole classes. WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM FINGER GYM? All children from 9 months to 9 years; older children with special educational needs, e.g. speech, language and communication difficulties, difficulties with gross and fine motor control; gifted and talented children with poor handwriting; children learning English as an additional or foreign language; children and adults who are learning to play a musical instrument; adults with impaired fine motor or language skills, e.g. after a stroke.