Here are some of our favorite ways to teach kids how to hold a pencil.
6 Easy Tips to Improve Pencil Grasp
While your child is writing her letter this week, observe how she grasps a writing utensil. If your child struggles with holding a pencil efficiently, there are lots of easy little tricks we OTs like to use to promote stronger, more effective grasp patterns on writing utensils. Check out some of my favorites:
1 || Before they can focus on fine motor skill development and handwriting, kids need to build strong, stable core muscles to give them a good foundation and base of support. Try these core strengthening activities for kids!
2 || If a child doesn’t have adequate hand strength, grasping a pencil efficiently and maintaining an efficient pencil grasp will prove to be very difficult. Luckily there are tons of fun ways to help kids develop hand strength.
3 || If your child struggles with holding the pencil either too far away or too close to the tip, try placing a small sticker or wrap a stripe of colored electrical tape around the pencil at the appropriate height.
4 || Give your child verbal prompts to use his Super Fingers (thumb, index, and middle fingers)! This simple reminder has made all the difference with several of my preschoolers who just need a little nudge to remember the correct pencil grasp.
5 || Try having your child write with shorter pencils (like the ones used on the golf course) or broken crayons. This is a favorite trick of OTs and preschool teachers because kids naturally gravitate toward a tripod grasp at the correct height when using smaller writing utensils.
6 || Another great grasping trick is to have kids tuck a small object (e.g. craft pompom, marble) into their ring and pinky fingers, holding it there while they grasp the pencil and writing with their thumb, index finger, and middle finger.
Check out these great toys to encourage strong grasp patterns on writing utensils (from Mama OT)!
One of the most common skills that kids tends to suffer over the summer? Handwriting. Kids can have difficulty with many aspects of this important skill, including letter formation, hand strength, maintaining spacing and sizing, and keeping their writing on the lines. In any case, practice makes perfect – and kids just don’t get a lot of practice with handwriting during the summer.
The goal of our handwriting project is to encourage kids to keep writing and to have fun while they’re doing it!
Each week, we’ll provide printable writing prompts for kids. Encourage kids to complete the writing activity using the tips for pencil grasp that we provided below.
This week, kids will get to write about
something funny that happened today!
Follow this link to print the writing prompt.
Sign up to receive our newsletter, a weekly roundup of our favorite posts and other great finds from around the web delivered right to your inbox!