When people think of school-based occupational therapists, they picture pencil grips. Those brightly-colored squishy little things are like an OT’s calling card – we leave them strewn about pretty much everywhere we go.
*This post is sponsored by The Pencil Grip, Inc. and products were provided for us to sample and review. All opinions are our own.
I have pencil grips in my therapy bag, on my desk, and…if I’m being honest…I have them in the glove compartment of my car. You just never know when you’ll need one!
When we came across the line of pencil grips from The Pencil Grip, Inc. though, I was immediately impressed. This was the first time I had seen pencil grips that are designed to work progressively toward a more efficient and independent grasp for handwriting.
The line of grips from The Pencil Grip, Inc. are intended to lead kids through a 3-step process to gain a more functional grasp on a pencil.
First, the crossover grip provides more structure and clearer, deeper “pockets” to indicate where the fingers should rest. This is my favorite style of pencil grip for younger kids. I often place a small sticker to indicate where the child should place his thumb just to alleviate any confusion.
Second, the pinch grip still provides some structure and guidance for where the fingers should go, but pockets are not as deep. These are perfect for using as the child becomes more independent and aware of finger placement.
Third, the original grip is a more traditional pencil grip without the pockets. It simply uses indentations for the thumb, first, and second fingers – great for kids who have a more established and mature grasp.
All of the grips from The Pencil Grip, Inc. are made out of a durable, but pliable material that is appealing from a tactile standpoint. And they come in lots of bright, bold colors, which is important because we all know the first question kids will ask when presented with a pencil grip to try…“Can I have my favorite color?”
But The Pencil Grip, Inc. didn’t stop at creating great pencil grips. They also have an awesome line of solid tempra paint sticks called Kwik Stix. When I first opened up the box of Kwik Stix, I was a little nervous. They looked like they would be messy – and even though I love a good messy activity, it’s not always practical during therapy sessions.
I was thrilled to find that the claim on the package was true! They seriously dry in 90 seconds without any sticky, wet residue! I was able to stack up all of my kids’ pictures without them sticking together (or sticking to me)!
And, even when dry, the Kwik Stix keep their vibrant, bold colors. Like pencil grips from The Pencil Grip, Inc., The Kwik Stix come in lots of beautiful bright colors and glide across the paper easily, almost like an oil pastel. The sticks twist up like a glue stick for a super fun, super easy, no-mess painting experience!
Kwik Stix would be a great addition to your repertoire for practicing prewriting and early writing skills. They’re fun to use and the novelty and bright colors are great for keeping kids interested and motivated.
So what are you waiting for? Go on over to The Pencil Grip, Inc. and pick up a set of pencil grips! And while you’re there, throw in a pack of Kwik Stix too!
Be sure to follow The Pencil Grip, Inc. on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter to stay up to date on all of their products and offerings! You can check out their products on Amazon too!
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Denise Maddon says
My seven year old daughter is on the Autism spectrum. She has such a difficult time writing and presses so hard on the paper that she is continually breaking the lead. It would be so helpful if I could get her to understand the correct way to hold a pencil. She also has a difficult time with the size of her letters and staying on a path. The quick stix would help her to stay on the line and show her how large her letters should be. It would all be great!
Cammie Alexander says
I love this post! As a school-based therapist, working with students from preschool up to age 21, I am constantly passing out these grippers. My principal starts laughing whenever a parent asks about pencil grips because she knows how passionate I am with providing the RIGHT kind of grip. Not all pencil grips are alike! These grippers have always been my “go to” grippers. I am also excited to try the Kwik Stix. Most of my kiddos want to take their art work home that day and I usually have to wait a week (when I see them next) until they can take it home.
Thanks for this post!
Genny C says
I would love to use these with some kindergarteners I work with who are struggling with symbolic information and remembering how to functionally grasp a crayon/pencil (but who want/need independence) and also a student with low vision who needs big contrast. She is in third grade and really starting to get into multi-step classroom/ craft projects
Theresa Powers says
I work in the schools with all ages. I would use them with the children I work with
Brianna L says
My almost 4 year old son was just diagnosed with autism. We are trying to get him in all the recommended therapies that he will need to prepare him for school but unfortunately our insurance doesn’t cover a lot of them. We are looking for anything that will help improve his fine motor skills which is one of his biggest problem areas . I feel these products would definitely help improve his difficulties in this area. Thank you for your consideration!
Christine Rockett says
As an OT in the schools, students often need a grip for a short period of time to feel the position of their fingers on a pencil. Then, voila! The motor memory begins. I plan to use these grips with my students grade 3 to 5.
I love the idea of those Kwik Stix for practicing spelling words – way more fun than just writing them in pencil!
Jo-Anne Huxter says
I am in a grade 1/2 classroom and many of the children struggle with holding their pencils and pencil crayons. I have purchased many different types of grips but nothing seems to work for two of the kids I work with so maybe this would do the trick.
Joy Cleveland says
I have recently started my own independent OT consultant business. I have been surprised on the need for pediatric OT services in my area. I have several referrals for OT due to poor handwriting/fine motor coordination deficits. I have been surprised to find out that the child’s parent reports I was the first OT to identify the poor pencil grasp and also appears to be the first OT to trial different pencil grips to increase more mature pencil grasp and handwriting performance. I would love to trial these graded pencil grips.
I AM an OT working with preschoolers enrolled in the HeadStart program in Wyoming. Many of my young clients have weak hand strength and poor pencil grasp. I work to resolve these problems before the kids reach public school age. Most public school teachers do not pay attention to hand writing or pencil grasp problems. I would use this great give-away for my needy students.
I’m a COTA and work for the school department. Teaching the correct pencil grasp is a priority and you can never have enough grips!! Love the fact that it’s a sampler pack because we all know how many different grasps we see and not every grip is the right one to fix it.
I would use this with my OT students
Michelle plemons says
I would use them with my son, and share with kindergarten teachers that I work with!
Nancy Carol says
I am a grandmother to a second grader with sensory processing challenges. He is still learning to write lower case letters, and he is at the Kindergarten level with writing, reading, etc. He was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD and has a challenge with sitting for periods of time.
He was also just diagnosed with vision problems (although he has 20/20 vision)
so all of this combined makes school very challenging for him.
we worry about his self-concept as well, and hope with aids like the grips he can feel more successful.
Ginger Holley says
I would provide them to the kiddos/families at our therapy clinic after determining the “just right” one for each child.
Ria espiritu says
I am a special education teacher here in the philippines. My students who mostly have autism really need those in developing their grip and handwriting. I will use it with my kids so parents can see their importance first hand.
I’m very interested in the Pencil Grip, Inc. line of pencil grips and the Kwik Stik. I’m a school based OT & will use the grips with my students & share with my coworkers.
I’ve got a number of students that may benefit from the Kwiksticks…I find that when I’m in the classroom as an OT the kids are avoiding holding paint brushes closer to the brush because they don’t want to touch the paint… Always great to have more options to practice utensil control! I’ve used the crossover and really like it.
Cheryl Bloomfield says
I am heading straight to find out more about Kwik Sticks and never knew about the range of pencil grips out there.
I work with children with individual needs and some for whom writing is a real struggle, every day.
Thanks for the tips!
I have used the Pencil Grip 3-step process successfully with my own child, and it gave me the confidence to know it worked. I started using it with 1-2 children at my job and it is definitely helping them. If used consistently, these pencil grips give the child the cue for holding the pencil correctly without need for a parent or teacher/OT having to give the child a verbal cue, which can also interrupt what the child is doing.
I am an OT who would use these with my kids and clients who over-grip and use a poor grasp.
I’m an OT working with Pre K through 3rd grade kids on Handwriting skills & I have loved using these Pencil grips – they are awesome & I’m always running out of them. I work overseas where treatment supplies are very limited & very needed – whenever I travel back to the states I have to stock up on supplies & bring them back with me – pencil grips are my go-to item!!! They have been amazing & certainly do the trick in helping these kiddos with writing. I love the idea of the Kwik Sticks and never knew about them – they will be on the top of my list next time I’m home in the states!!
I work with children who access Family Day Care with our Educators and also with families and children who have a diagnosis. The Kwik Sticks would be beneficial for the children we work with and would be great to inform our Educators as they are working closely with families and also O.T’s when required.
Joanne yelvrton says
My grandaughter has a very rare genetic disorder. Cask gene deletion. She has weak muscles and I think these would help quite a bit.
I will use these great products with my students! I work with preschoolers and elementary students and I’m always looking for new materials and extra pencil grips!
Give them to my OT friends to use with our students!
Jenn Bunkers says
If I win I will definitely be trying the grips out at school with my OT students! Thanks for a great opportunity!
I am a pediatric OT and I have tried other grips but always return to The Pencil Grip. I really like their newer Crossover grip because it is more obvious where to put the fingers. I would love to add the Kwik Stiks to my Handwriting without Tears repertoire!
All my preschool kiddos will love these paint sticks!
The crossovers are my go to grips. Haven’t tried the pinch ones yet though they look great!
Darlene Shumchenia says
I have been an OT for nearly 16 years and I have given away more Pencil Grips than I can imagine! I love them, my kiddos love the squishy feeling around their pencil, and parents and teachers alike are so happy . Now, they come back again with something so purposeful, and fun for everyone! I can not wait to try!
Thank you, Pencil Grip! ?
I am an OTA and work in 7 school districts. Would love to try grips and Kwik sticks with the kids I service.
Lisa Ritchey says
I am a school based therapist for USD 501. My favorite pencil grip is”The Grip” . I would love to try other versions of The Grip with my students, as well as the Kwik Stix. Always looking forward ways to improve legibility of handwriting with my OT students.
I would use these with my children. One has a weak and awkward grip and the other two are just learning to write. The Kwik Stix look great – no mess!
I would use the KwikStix with a little guy on my OT caseload who loves to paint and wants to take his work immediately when our session is finished. The quick dry will be great for him along with other FM benefits of manipulating the lids and the short “stick”. An OT can never have too many pencil grips either :-)
Nikki Conner says
I would love to use the pencil grips with my middle child who is just learning how to properly hold a pencil! All 3 if my kiddos would LOVE the KwikStix, and I think I would be much more likely to use these frequently at home instead of paint! :)
My name is Mackenzie and I am an Occupational Therapist in Charlotte, North Carolina. I work at a psychiatric residential treatment facility and day treatment program which serves children ages 5-14 with severe emotional, behavioral and psychological problems. These problems make it difficult for the children to focus on their occupations (e.g., school).
Many of these children lack the fine motor skills to hold a pencil appropriately, and have impaired visual perceptual, motor control, and visual motor integration abilities to copy, trace, recognize, and write letters and numbers.
If I am chosen to win, I would like to use these products on the children at the PRTF and Day Treatment Program. The Twix Kwix Sticks would make handwriting fun, working on letter formation to assist with starting points and sequencing the strokes. I think the kids would enjoy using a different color for each stroke, we use paint but it’s messy and the kids return to class with rainbow hands because it’s still wet. The grips would be great too, I like how they are slightly different to upgrade or downgrade depending on the child’s needs .
Emily McClure says
I would love to use the Kwik Stick with my 1st and 3rd graders. They love painting and crafting and I’m all about less mess! :-D
These look amazing! I need to try them.