This summer, I found a need and interest in handwriting and drawing on the iPad. I bought a stylus realizing that my finger was not the best writing utensil but became frustrated at my inability to write small and neat even with a stylus. I started doing some research on styluses to see if I could find one that had a finer point. Here are some of the stylus choices:
Pogo Sketch – A stylus for capacitive touch screens ($14.95) Pogo has been around for quite a while as a touch screech tool. This is their Pogo Sketch:
AluPen by Just Mobile – This pen caught my eye as a real possibility for young learners. It is a chunky, light weight pen. It reminds me of the pencils and pencil colors that were easier to handle than standard round pencils for preschoolers. It received good reviews and might work well for small kids hands without having to put a gripper or some kind of grasp on it. ($20.00)
SGP Kuel H10 Stylus Pen – Smaller tipped stylus pen compared to most of the others such as the Pogo. The pen has a strap that plugs into the audio jack making it convenient to locate. Compatible with iPad/iPod. ($12.99) .
Kensington Virtuoso Touch Stylus & Pen – iPad compatible stylus and pen combined. ($24.99)
ShapeDad’s Stylus Sock Pro – Small socks made of conductive material that slides over a pen holder. ($5.00) (You can also find videos or instructions for how to sew these yourself)
There are many other styluses available. If you are interested in an in-depth review of styluses check out these two articles:
Here is a Mouthstick stylus!
Macgyvering a Stylus
Since I could not find an affordable stylus with a fine I decided to start exploring what else might work. Using styluses for touch window in the past compelled me to trial old styluses and different materials and tips (sponges, erasers, felt tips). As a OT who loves to adapt and problem solve, I was driven to try to create my own. Sponges worked so I started on taking pens apart to create a sponge tip. It worked but I still could not create a fine tip like I wanted. After creating my sponge tipped stylus pen, I found numerous YouTube videos already out there describing how to make your own stylus. Many different methods of making your own stylus using sponge material, foil, wire, glue or tape and a pen/marker/antenna/chopstick or marker are available on the Internet. If you are interested in making your own stylus or don’t have the funds to make one check these videos out or search for “how to make your own stylus” on the Internet:
http://www.techaccess-ri.org/?page_id=485 – Using marker, foam, wire and tape
http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=4221 – Using pen, foam and wire – geared to kids
http://www.techiesnoop.com/how-to-make-your-own-stylus-pen/ – Using an antenna, glue and foam
http://www.techieask.com/2010/05/make-your-own-touch-screen-stylus-from-any-pen/ – Using pen, wire and foam
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcE46qvW4Xk&feature=related – Using chopsticks and foil
Styluses for OT
The subject of styluses came up recently as a fellow OT was discussing how she wanted a stylus to help transition one of her kindergarten students from using her finger on her iPad to using a writing utensil/stylus as another method of developing pencil grasp and control with a writing tool. A great therapeutic and motivating intervention for a young student and emergent writer when you have a mobile tool like the iPad. Many questions came to mind:
- Which stylus would I purchasing soley for student use? (If I could afford that)
- How would I adapt an existing Kensington Stylus for small hand use?
- What kind of griper might I try to use (The Grip?)?
- If I made one what one would I choose to make?
What would be your choice, make or buy? And which one?