Study: Kids have trouble holding pencils thanks to technology

Study: Kids have trouble holding pencils thanks to technology
(Source: WAFF)

MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Is technology causing your kids to lose basic skills, like holding a pencil or using scissors? A new study says "yes."

It found using iPads and cellphones too much actually prevents kids from properly developing their finger muscles. WAFF 48 News interviewed a kindergarten teacher at Lynn Fanning Elementary School about what she sees in the classroom.

"I have, over the years, seen a decrease in kids' ability to control their pencil, hold their pencil, their grasping skills," said Jamie Solley.

Solley has taught kindergarten for 23 years. Today, she's teaching at Lynn Fanning Elementary School in Madison County. What she's noticed happening in the classroom is happening to kids all over the world, according to a new study.

The study claims iPads and cellphone use could be an issue when it comes to kids building finger and hand muscles, making something as simple as holding a pencil tiring for some kids today. The study claims kids are "not coming into school with the hand strength and dexterity they had 10 years ago."

Solley said it's all about balance.

"I think it's just our natural tendency. We use technology so much, and have the devices at hand," she said. "It's easy to give them to our kids and think it's a good thing. And it can be a good thing, but you have to remember, it's a balance."

She suggests having your kids write, color, use Play-Doh, learn to tie their shoes, and pick up small things with a pair of tweezers. Practicing these things at home will allow them to be better prepared for kindergarten and set them up with skills for life.

"It's an essential life skill they need. There's no app that's going to button their coat," Solley said. "It's all about building those small muscles in their hands."

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