From the iPad to the Real World: Fine Motor Work with Sight Words

The iPad has helped my daughter Beth progress on her fine motor control, but she still resists using her hands in the “real world.” With her fine motor, motor planning, and sensory challenges, fine motor activities in the “real world” are one of her biggest hurdles.

Since Beth is absolutely obsessed with the spelling app First Words (by Learning Touch,, I turned the app into a “real world” fine motor activity.  Because Beth loves the app and is already familiar with the pictures and spelling process, she willingly works on using the letters tiles to cover the letters on the print out.  I cannot tell you what a miracle it is to see her doing a fine motor activity without resistance!  Here she is doing the activity (with a really bad sinus infection, so these are actually the worst of circumstances!):

Instructions for Making the First Words Fine Motor Activity from the First Words App

1.  Take a screen shot of the picture with the word below it from the  First Words app (make sure the settings have auto advance set to “off “).  Here is how you can take a screen shot of anything on the iPad, and save it in your camera roll:

2.  Print out the image.  Either e-mail the picture to your computer for printing if you don’t have a wireless printer or download an app, such as iCan-Print (, to print from the iPad to your wireless printer.

3.  Using letter tiles (, arrange the tiles to spell the word on the First Word print out, put the tiles upside down on a copy machine to copy the word on white paper, then cut out the copied word and paste it over the word on your First Words print out.  This makes an exact size match for your letter tiles.

4.  Cover the First Words screen shot (with the pasted word made from letter tiles) with clear contact paper (

5. If your child has trouble finding the right tiles in a pile and/or picking them up, try organizing them in an egg carton like this:

First Words Activity

First Words Activity

First Words Spelling Print Outs

First Words Spelling Print Outs


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