Well, week three of my struggle to become ambidextrous has come and gone and I have to say my executive decision to start colouring instead of just writing was a good one. Life should be about making choices that are personally indulgent when possible and colouring was just that for me. It was a great way to not only practice a skill but let some of the day’s stress go with a little creativity.
I was able to purchase this adorable Winnie the Pooh colouring book at Dollar Tree, then used both crayons and pencil crayons I already had to colour. Here are my favourites of the pages I did this week (Note that they had perforated edges so they could be easily ripped out of the book! #winning).
Page One: I used pencil crayons to complete my first page of the week, keeping the colour scheme relatively simple and true to original characters. I played with some elements of depth but just tried to see how it would feel for the most part. Some of the colouring looks a little scribbled, like in Pooh’s shirt. I would critique the spots where I went out of the lines, but then again, I usually do that with my right hand too.
Page Two: I decided to mix things up and complete this page with crayons to see how I felt about the texture and length of the utensil compared to pencil crayons. I tried to use a variety of colours to allow my hand to be able to practice finer movements with the highlights and shadows. There was also ample opportunity to practice blending Rabbit’s tummy, which I think I succeeded with doing. This one may or may not be currently hanging on my fridge because I love it so much.
Page Three: I switched back to pencil crayons to try something more outside-the-box. This design required plenty of switching back and forth between colours so I had plenty of opportunities to practice my grip.
In light of my improvements in pencil grip, I decided to try and combat the uncomfortable feelings I still had when it comes to using my left hand for other, daily things. This need has led me to the following very thoroughly explained guide to improve my lefthandedness. I wish I would have found the resource earlier in my journey as I feel now I am kind of taking the back route with the whole task.
The author has divided their journey into four categories of increasing difficulty: eating, personal hygiene, cooking, and other (under which things like writing falls). Better yet, each category is divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced skills. While this tutorial is all subjective, I have found that some of the tasks I am trying to tackle now, such as writing, is considered god-tier and nearly impossible to master.
“There are dozens of other activities in your daily life that can be easily converted into off-handed practice. Just be aware of what you do with your hands and switch it up.
Beginner:Reaching. Make it a habit of reaching out with your off-hand. Every doorknob, button, switch, and glass of water is an opportunity for practice.
Intermediate: Technology. Can you browse the web, send a text, or change tracks on your MP3 player using only your off-hand?
Advanced:Writing. The Holy Grail of ambidexterity is writing. If you ever get to this point, leave me a note. I’m not there yet.”
So while this will prove very helpful for future use as a guide, it has led me to the next plan of attack: fine motor skill improvement.
The best of this project is that there are a plethora of resources available for strengthening your hand dominance due to the number of parents that want to make sure their child is developing properly. Some resources are unappealing as they are aimed at the exploratory senses of toddlers, while other resources have provided me with many ideas that can be used as a baseline of what to work on this upcoming week.
Therefore, here are my top five skills to tackle based on what I have recently learned:
- Jenga – playing with friends to practice steady hand movements and hand-eye coordination.
- Crafts – paper cutting skills to improve finer control
- Hygiene – brushing my teeth to target the ‘clunky’ feeling of my hand
- Colouring – continuing the grip practice and various other skills
- Eating – working on steadiness and grip strength
Here’s my challenge to you (plus I’m curious to test out polls):
Try eating dinner tonight with your non-dominant hand and let me know how it goes! Was it as hard as you thought it would be? And do you have any tips before I make a mess of every shirt I own this week?