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.