Developing pencil grip

Developing your child’s pencil grip

As teachers, we are frequently approached by parents who are concerned about their child’s awkward pencil grip. If left ignored, pencil grip issues can have a negative impact on a child’s academic achievement in school. When children sense that they are falling behind, it can cause worry, disappointment, and low self-esteem, causing them to fall even more behind.

In saying this, it is important to note that pencil grip acquisition is developmental. Therefore we will focus on pencil grips for 5–6-year-old children in this post.

Correct pencil grip

What Is a Good Pencil Grip? 

A good pencil grip allows a child to:

• be able to move their fingers efficiently rather than wrist/arm

• be able to write neatly, and for prolonged periods of time

Although there is no definite right or wrong way to hold a pencil, several Occupational Therapists and Educational Bodies endorse the tri-pod grip. By the age of 5 or 6, children should be able to employ this grip. The tri-pod grip involves placing the pencil between the thumb and index finger, with the middle finger resting on the pencil. This grip is chosen because it allows the learner to have better pencil control and provides for more comfort and longevity when writing.

Teaching Pencil Grip 

Your child may find proper pencil grip unusual at first, but they will grow used to it. If you assist them, many children will begin with a proper grasp and then transition to what they are used to.

How often do you have to stop your child and fix their pencil grip? As often as you can without causing them undue discomfort. Pay attention to your child’s signals, and don’t press too hard.

Some tips to help you succeed:

Car story: Explain when demonstrating the grasp in the form of a family in a car. In the front, the parents are seated, while three children are seated in the back. Instructions that are presented in a pleasant and relatable manner help children remember and understand them.

Set a good example: by doing a lot of writing and colouring in front of and with your kids. The more they see you do it, the more likely they are to follow.

Pencil grip activity

Pegs: Pinching and squeezing clips, pegs, tweezers, or even tongs help build hand muscle strength.

  • Have your child use pegs to pick up pom poms and move them into a bucket or sort them into groups by colour or size. Have a race to see who can do it the quickest!
  • Make a caterpillar! Cut out the shape of a caterpillar’s body and draw a face on one end. Have your child clip pegs to the body as the caterpillar’s legs.

One last piece of advice: It’s difficult to modify a child’s habit of holding a pencil incorrectly for years. Even if it is a bit less efficient and tidy, children may nevertheless write fast and cleanly with an improper pencil grip.

You’ll have to decide whether adjusting their placement is worth the extra effort and inconvenience. If your child’s pencil grip is working well for him or her, making a change is unlikely to be worth the stress it will cause you and your child. Make the best decision you can.

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