Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Make Your Own Stylus

I think I've pretty much established that Lily Bird is a whiz with electronics.

We were in Target a couple of weeks ago and she spotted the Nook on display.  She has never touched a Nook in her life.  Within 30 seconds, she had it up and running and was playing an app.

I don't know why it continues to surprises me how quickly she takes to electronics.  Maybe because I am such a dunce when it comes to electronics and still need a handwritten checklist to remember how to upload photos to the blog.

Oh well.

Let's move on to something I actually do know how to do.

So Lily has been working on spelling and writing her name.  

And between home and school, that child has written her name one thousand different ways - with stickers, filling in bubble letters, in shaving cream, with torn bits of paper, on a dry erase board, in fingerpaints, on an easel, with bottle caps, even the steam from her breath on a window.  

Of course, the ultimate goal is to have her write her name on paper while holding a pencil with the proper grip.

And we're about to get one step closer to that goal.

Since Lily is so motivated by all things electronic, her teacher wants to introduce her to a stylus.  But most styluses... styli.... or whatever the plural of stylus is, are quite pricey.  And many of them are thin and slick; not something that lends itself to easy use by a kindergartener.

Enter Pinterest.  

And the do-it-yourself stylus.

And just a little bit of a closer look....

I am here to tell you that these little babies work.  And they are cheap.  And they are easy to make.  Even an electronic dunce like me can make them.  Probably because there is nothing electronic involved in crafting them.

But before I send you off to the website that shows you how to make them, I offer a few little tips that might help those of us non-sciency types, such as myself: 

1.  When you buy the wire, do not buy memory wire.  You will spend lots of time getting frustrated and wanting to curse trying to get that wire to wrap around that marker while it keeps springing back to its original larger shape.  Not that I have any first-hand experience with this....  Just don't buy the memory wire, ok?

2.  The directions will tell you to wrap the wire about halfway up the marker, leaving it exposed in the middle.  Again, I have no first-hand knowledge but someone thought it might be nice to just cover all that wire up with that colored duct tape so the kids wouldn't pick at it.  Turns out your fingers must come in direct contact with the wire in order for the stylus to work.  Who knew?  Sciency stuff and all that.

3.  After finishing a stylus, I attempted to use it on my i-Phone to see if it worked.  It didn't.  
I watched the tutorial again for the gazillionth time.  I really had done everything right.  Tears were about to be shed.  Then a thought came to me.  I was making these Monday morning.  I had successfully made one stylus on Sunday night.  What was different?  Well, I remembered that when I opened the package of sponges Sunday night, they were ever so slightly damp.  And now, Monday morning, they were bone dry.  Feeling like a total dork for even trying this, I wet my fingertip and dampened the sponge tip.  And eureka!  It worked!  And then I still wanted to cry because why, why, why does science have to be so hard??

Despite the fact that I am clearly not a science girl, I have now made four of these.  If I can do it, anyone can. 

I'm so excited to see all the ways we can use this stylus to encourage Lily to write.  And maybe one day, we'll actually get to good old-fashioned pen and paper.


Ready to make one yourself?  

Digital Kindergarten has step-by-step directions, as well as two different video tutorials.  Click here to get started.

Have a great week, sweet friends, and I'll see you Friday.


  1. Awww, Lana! Good on you for creating! And I am soo with you on the science thing. Whose idea was it to make that stuff so hard anyways?

    1. Well, it's not knitting or crocheting but still.... :)

  2. Cool...thanks for sharing....most stylus are expensive...didn't know you could make your own..also so glad to hear she is spelling her name....before long she will be talking....praying for that to happen.

    1. Thanks for your prayers! We would love to hear this girl talk!!

  3. You are just too clever! Me, on the other hand? Bet you can guess what I did. Yup. Googled and found this link recommended by an OT for kiddos with SN:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004FV22WO/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B004FV22WO&linkCode=as2&tag=otswiap-20
    And if that isn't quite "grippy" enough, there are these that can go over it:http://www.amazon.com/Paper-Foohy-Assorted-Pencil-83059SW/dp/B00006IEEP/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1367365185&sr=8-2&keywords=pencil+grips+foam
    PS this are just some ideas in case The Bird isn't loving the feeling of the wire in her hands when she writes. Or you just get sick of making them. Oh wait, that would be me I'm talking about there. ;)

    1. PPS I meant to say *these are just some ideas, not this. Wow! Also, the first link is to a "chunky pencil" stylus. :)

    2. OH MY GOSH!! Now who's the clever one?? I totally just ordered that first one - the chunky pencil! I love that it visually resembles what we're hoping to get her to use one day. :)

      And Day 1 of "make your own stylus" use? Lily bit the sponge tip off when the teacher was reaching for something on the floor. That girl is quick! And now that I look at it, that sponge tip is just asking to be bit off, dontcha think? Still going to use them but with eyes on the kid at all times. :)

  4. Well, that's spiffy. Before I make or purchase one (our kiddo is a year younger then The Bird), I'm going to let you work the kinks out and keep us posted. =) The "Suck UK" (weird name) stylus seems a good balance btwn function and price. Glad you shared this. It wasn't even slightly on my radar.
    --Candace R

  5. Hello!
    I found your blog through Pinterest, and after reading one post I am hooked! I already love your family, and I am rooting for your beautiful Lily Bird!
    I know you are probably going to think that I am after "a sale" here, but I am not. I wanted to share with you that some parents of non-verbal autistic children have told me that their children started trying to talk (well, sing!) after their teachers used my DVD's in their classrooms. One child was non-verbal until fourth grade! (Read this blog post here: http://www.heidisongs.com/blog/2014/01/learning-disabilities-real-stories-of-children-that-succeeded-with-music-and-movement.html)
    May I send you a DVD to see if it might work with Lily? (free.) Email me- heidi@heidisongs.com
    Much love in Christ,
    Heidi Butkus


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...