Inventor Q&A: LegiLiner
by Kinspire Team
The second in a series of interviews with Kinspire partners, we’re speaking with Polly Benson, the inventor of LegiLiner Rolling Ink Handwriting Stamps and a Kinspire Partner in Play.
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Hi Polly! Tell us a little about yourself. What’s your professional background?
I am an Occupational Therapist and have been practicing for over 30 years.
What inspired you to start LegiLiner?
I was working with students in Occupational Therapy in the schools and they would work with me on handwriting in the OT classroom. When they returned to the school classroom, they didn't have the adaptive lines and they were not able to maintain their handwriting practice. I designed a prototype rolling ink stamp with a handwriting line pattern and started to carry it with me to the classrooms. I could quickly ink lines on the student's papers and in their workbooks, and the teachers loved it! They encouraged me to patent what I was using, so I gave it a go! Fast forward 3 years and now I have 13 different stamp patterns!
Describe what therapists tell you about the impact your products have on their work with children.
Therapists love how the LegiLiners save them time and they can easily carry them around with them to multiple students and multiple schools. They allow the therapist to quickly adapt any page for writing practice and can trial a stamp based on the students' size of writing. It saves on loose paper and printing out multiple pages for student needs. They can also roll ink lines on to regular classroom worksheets before the copies are made and all students can benefit from extra handwriting practice lines. They love the fact that we now have a number line and boxes for special adaptive handwriting and math.
What’s it been like for you as a care professional to start a product-based business? Do you have advice for therapists and caregivers with product ideas?
It has been a challenge and wonderful all at the same time! I am filling a huge need in the school community and getting amazing feedback from OT's, teachers and parents. We are seeing carry over to the homes as the parents are purchasing the LegiLiners for homework and in the homeschool community as well! My advice? If you have an idea, run it by some other therapists and teachers and possibly try a prototype. See if you can get some pre-orders to help pay for the initial investment to help fund costs.
What’s your favorite item in your lineup and why?
I'd have to say the 3/4" RED LegiLiner because it was my first one, and the one I use the most, but the 1/2" and the boxes are a close second and third!
Tell us one way to use a LegiLiner product that we wouldn’t expect.
We use them to create game boards and fine motor activities, in addition to writing! We offer free worksheets and ideas on our website and social media pages.