Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Reader Recommended Stylus and Helpful Insights

Let's admit it, most kids love using tablets. There are so many apps which help children practice handwriting, but using a finger to write does not translate to the skills needed to using a pencil and paper. The use of a stylus with a tablet allows kids to practice proper hand grip while using a tablet.

With so many different styluses available, many people do not know where to start. One of our readers, Wendy posted the following question on our Facebook page. 

Wendy wrote: Can you recommend your favorite stylus to use with beginning writers? One with a durable tip that doesn't break when too much pressure is applied. 

Stylus Recommendations:

Rachel from Smart Apps for Special Needs: I recently got my kids the Cosmonaut stylus to use at home. Although it is a little more costly than the average stylus, it does seem more durable. It is about the size of a chunk dry-erase marker with a rubber tip. My kid's were able to hold it with ease, and it has stood up to their wear and tear. For more details, check my full review of the Cosmonaut stylus. 
Cosmonaut averages $25 on Amazon

Laurel posted: I bought one on Amazon for $5

Jo uses: App crayon....tri-sided with a big rubber tip
App Crayon averages $30 on Amazon

Suzannah added: I like the Griffin one... It's a triangle shape and thicker ( good for little hands) they come in fluro pink, green, and blue I think!

Anna shared: We have the Extreme Mac stylus but I can't say it's tip seems very durable. 
The XtremeMac Averages $18 on Amazon

Tamara from Smart Apps for Special Needs: The Lunatik Chubby Stylus works effortlessly, as long as the user has their fingertips on the black part of the stylus. The fat size of the stylus is great for young hands -- just like larger sized markers that you find in most school art supply stashes. To read more of  Tamara's insights on the Lunatik visit Something fat + fab to fill your kid's stocking: Lunatik Chubby Stylus Review
Lunatik Chubby Stylus averages $20 on Amazon

Helpful hints when using a stylus:

Beck added: I'm a school ot. I try to find anything as short as possible. Then, to avoid the awkward and incorrect wrist flexion that is required to avoid other parts of the hand interfering with the touch screen, I suggest wearing a glove or wearing a sock with holes cut for the tripod fingers. This allows for the wrist to naturally sit on support on the screen. I saw that staples had a combo pack of some short ones that stored in the microphone jack. This accommodation should help ease the pressure exuded by giving the hand the stability and rest needed in the wrist. Something we naturally do when writing. Also, place the iPad in the clear cover of a 3" 3-ring binder to provide a slanted surface for optimal wrist extension. Hope this makes sense and helps.

Wendy responded: I am a school COTA (Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant) and work with preschoolers and kindergarteners. I am off to get the smallest gloves I can find! I already have an Armorbox case that provides the slant and improvise with a prop when we are working in an app that only provides portrait viewing. I have gone through at least 5 stylus' (styli?) in the past two school years!

Belinda wrote: I am a pediatric OT in Brisbane. I agree with Beck's suggestions and also like to give the kids (especially the little ones) a bit thicker grip. I have put pencil grips on the thinner stylus before, but if that's not needed I buy the thicker ones from eBay. Type "chunky stylus" into the search field. I get 5 for AU$4.99 with free postage and they have lasted my kids ages. Good luck

Rachel H has noticed a huge difference in her son's handwriting and pencil grip since incorporating the use of a stylus with his tablet usage.

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