Pencil grasp is an important part of child development, but it’s hard work learning to control a pencil, crayon, marker, or any of the other fun writing utensils you may find in a typical preschool classroom! A child’s thumb, first and middle fingers make up a dynamic trio we call Super Fingers. These three fingers work together to grasp a pencil as children develop their handwriting skills. Here are some quick ideas to promote using this tripod grasp early on and encourages these three fingers to work together.
1. Break crayons into small 1” pieces when coloring.
2. Practice pinching clothespins for activities like Hanging out the Wash or Personalized Caterpillars. You can also just have some fun picking up small items with clothespins like dried pasta or cotton balls!
3. Play with tiny manipulatives during art and crafts such as in Ant Farm , Decorate a picture with sequins or stickers to develop pinching skills.
4. Play with stamps!
photo credit: pierre pouliquin via photopin cc – Photo modified, text added
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Tove Maren says
These tips are so timely as I am teaching our kindergartener to hold the pencils correctly. thank you – I going home and breaking crayons! :)