As parents we usually watch out for all of the important milestones and aspects of childhood learning. However, even for the most attentive of us small details such as the importance of a good pencil grip can go unnoticed and considering the years of handwriting and drawing which young children face, it's important to ensure they have the correct pencil gripping technique.
It's not just a matter of preference; the way you hold a pencil can influence your penmanship, fine motor skills plus other abilities. If your child is starting to write, colour or draw this is the time for them to learn to hold a pencil correctly (before they get comfortable with a poor grip). A good pencil grip facilitates legibility, letter formation, speed and endurance. An efficient pencil grip is one in which the writing tool is controlled only through finger movements. This occurs when the pinky side of the hand supports the whole hand against the writing surface, allowing the other fingers to hold and move the pencil/pen/crayon.
Why hold a pencil correctly?
Holding a pencil or pen correctly requires strong finger and hand muscles and dexterity.
A correct pencil grip will enable the writer to move the fingers, controlling the pencil or pen with efficient finger movements.
The ability to hold a pencil correctly can affect a child’s attitude to learning and school work, their academic achievement as well as their motor/joint development.
Incorrect pencil grip is painful and causes the child’s hand and arm to fatigue quickly.
How can you help?
Strengthening a child's fine motor skills is the best way to help them, Click here to get lots of ideas of activities that can be done at home to help children with the development and strengthening of their fine motor skills.
According to experts, 3 years old is an ideal age to start learning correct pencil grip. A great way for children to exercise pencil grip is through drawing, colouring, and following patterns. Children who learn correct pencil grip enjoy fine motor activities more, as their hands don’t get sore from drawing and colouring.
Do they need a perfect pencil grip?
Whilst it may not be of paramount importance if you do not have the “perfect” pencil grip, what is important is that a pencil grip is functional, it does not cause pain or fatigue when writing, it provides neat, legible written work and writing tasks aren’t cut short simply because your hand won’t write fast enough.
Should I use a pencil grip aid?
One way to promote a correct pencil grip for small hands is with the aid of a pencil grip fitted onto the pencil they are using. These are usually made from foam, silicone or moulded rubber. There are many options on the market. I experienced a few with my own daughter, when she was in the middle of primary school and was asked to use one, we found it quite tricky and uncomfortable to use and it did not
correct the bad pencil hold she had developed.
Start out right..
Through my teaching I have noticed the amount of children who have already developed bad habits with their pencil grips, so we have decided with the young ones we teach we want to make it easy for them to start off the right way, holding their pencil correctly, it is much easier to start correctly than try to change them later. This prompted us to start looking at pencil grips again.
Amazing easy to use fun pencil grip
We are pleased to say we have found the most amazing pencil grip, it is soft, comfortable to hold, easy to use and fun for the children. Shaped like a fish it fits onto the pencil, the tail fin must face upwards as a fish would swim, it then has an indentation on both sides for the thumb and index finger and a ridge underneath for the middle finger to sit in. After showing children as young as 2 and a half how to hold it they are then able to do it on their own.
We could not keep this to ourselves; we just had to share it with you the parents.
These pencil grips are available to buy in a pack of 3 with 3 triangular pencils, the pencils and grips are perfect for little hands and the development of their pencil hold and writing skills.
Note: this pencil grip has been developed for children who are right handed, it can be used with left handed children but the underside ridge does not fit their finger so well.