Does your kid struggle to hold their pencil in the right way? Does your child get tired when writing for long periods of time? If so, a pencil grip might help in improving handwriting and reducing hand fatigue.
Pencil grips are a great tool to help a child’s pencil grasp. Usually coming in bright colors, these tools can help those who have a hard time holding a pencil properly. Even adults can use them if recovering from a hand injury who has a weakened hand grasp.
Teaching your child to hold using a proper pencil grasp is vital if you want them to be able to write legibly, comfortably, and fluently.
However, while most kids master a satisfactory pencil grip in time, some require a bit of extra help to get themselves to use the correct grip. So what are pencil grips for kids?
Pencil grips are a simple yet temporary measure that aids a better pencil grasp and makes handwriting less painful. Pencil grips are better advised for older children, as younger ones may need to develop their fine motor skills first.
An occupational therapist will often a writing aid such as a pencil grip to help children who struggle to stay in the lines or need to get better handwriting.
What Are Pencil Grips?
Pencil grips are temporary little attachments that fit onto a pencil. A pencil grip helps children have an accurate and functional grasp of a pen or pencil.
It allows kids to know where to put their fingers by marking with finger holes. When used properly, pencil grips can help sharpen the fine motor skills of a child, thereby improving control over handwriting.
Pencil grips are traditionally made from silicone, molded rubber, or foam. Pencil grips have helped countless adults and children, both with disabilities and able-bodied people, as an effective writing aid.
When Should You Give A Child A Pencil Grip?
A child should not be introduced to a pencil grip before the age of 6 years. Kids should try developing their own gross and fine motor skills before that.
Once you see an improvement in the fine motor skills of your child via the use of some really fun activities, you can use a pencil grip to get the fingers acquainted with holding a pencil comfortably using a correct pencil grasp.
If your child has moved past pencils and onto pens, a pen gripper might be for them!
The primary aim of pencil grips for kids is to get your child to hold their pencil correctly between their thumb, index, and middle fingers to form a letter with ease and without pain. Incorrect pencil grip results in bad habits.
Long-term use of an incorrect pencil grasp can cause pain and fatigue, therefore impacting your kid’s handwriting and ability to complete writing tasks.
Here are some factors to consider before giving your child a pencil grip:
- How old is the child?
- Does your child have poor fine motor skills?
- What pencil grasp is your child currently using?
- If the child has been working on finger and hand dexterity, but their fingers have not yet learned the correct method to hold a pencil
- If they need to be reminded to hold a pencil correctly
- Will the pencil grip become uncomfortable or distracting for them to use
Watch this YouTube clip to know more about when the appropriate time to give your child a pencil grip:
Why Do We Need to Consider Multiple Pencil Grips?
Now that we are aware of the use of pencil grips, you might set out to buy one for your little one. But before that, you need to know that there are multiple kinds of pencil grip products available for your child’s pencil grasp development.
Why? Because each child or individual is different and needs different tools to flourish. While some need a grip to help position their fingers, others need it to guide the force that must be applied while writing.
Some need pencil grips to reduce fatigue, have more control, and make writing much more comfortable. This will assist writing skills and help your kids improve handwriting or can help accelerate their grasp development.
You also need to consider its application. Can a pencil grip be used at home for recreational activities or do homework? Or at classrooms or for giving exams comfortably? Is your child aware of their surroundings and does not want to look different?
All these conditions have a major role to play in the selection of pencil grips, be it to help with arthritic conditions, sensory feedback, or fine motor skills. Therefore, it is important to find the right pencil grip for your child.
5 Pencil Grips For Fine Motor Skills Development
1. Grotto Grip
The Grotto Grip places the child’s fingers in a tripod grasp each time, preventing the thumb from getting wrapped around and encouraging an overall comfortable grip. Once the fingers are positioned correctly, the grip prevents the person or child from going back to their immature hand grasps. The grip can be effectively used for both righted and left-handed children.
2. Stetro Grip
The Stetro pencil grip is a small pencil grip with extremely definite finger indentations that make it perfect for learning handwriting for kids as well as a grown-up, who are looking for a comfortable and discreet grip.
If your child constantly needs to be reminded to hold the pencil correctly, this grip is just what you need. In saying this, this grip is more suitable for the older kids as placing the fingers on the grip is not as intuitive as other pencil grips for kids.
The molded shape of the grip offers a very natural and comfortable grip and automatically corrects the grip. A star indicates the position where the thumb must be placed. Moreover, the pencil grip is available in a wide range of colors.
3. Triangular Grip
Basic triangular grips are suited for all kinds of hand writers. The grip is available in two different sizes which relate to the hole size in the grip and so they fit a broader range of pens and pencils. The best part is that this basic grip can be used for younger children as well.
4. Butter Grip
The Butter Grip has been specifically designed to encourage the proper positioning of fingers during kids’ handwriting tasks. A strong grip not only promotes fine motor development but also improves the legibility of your child’s handwriting.
The round shape of this pencil grip is a tactile cue for fingers to wrap around. The fingers practically hug the pencil grip and the fingertips relax below this grip on the pencil.
This position helps the Butter Grip open the web space, offering a good pencil grip that supports the child’s finger muscles, and helps reduce pencil pressure.
The grip is just perfect for both right-handed and left-handed individuals for drawing and writing activities. You can pair it with standard pens, crayons, and pencils. With a diameter of 2.5cm, the grip is highly recommended for young adults and kids.
5. The Jumbo Pencil
The Jumbo Grip uses a similar revolutionary shape and is about 40% larger than the usual pencil grip usually recommended by teachers, Occupational Therapists, and doctors for adults and children.
The size of the Jumbo Grip makes it the only one of its kind to offer extended support and comfort till the second knuckle of the hand. The extra support is felt on the middle finger and index finger, however, it should be noted that the jumbo size will help the child hold the pencil in a slightly extended position compared to others.
The jumbo pencil has different types for left and right-handed kids which is helpful to practice with. Lefties and righties place their thumb on the L and R on the grip and the fingers fall in place naturally.
Pencil grasp development is crucial for kids who are learning to write or need to write long pieces of assessments. Pencil grips are an effective method to encourage kids to hold using a proper grip.
What Occupational Therapists think of Pencil Grips
In saying this, Occupational Therapists generally recommend doing fine motor activities to help kids develop finger strength and dexterity in their fingers, before offering pencil grips unless the child has significant physical impairments impacting their ability to hold the pencil. The development of fine motor skills is even more important for young children.
If you give pencil grips to children without putting in any effort to develop their fine motor skills, there are high chances that their poor grasp might remain. Kids with not-so-good motor skills usually experience discomfort with pencil grips.
A pencil grip can give your child the much-needed help when it comes to improving kids handwriting and improving their grip. However, you must always keep in mind that pencil grips are not an alternative for therapy when your child needs them. Rather they are a temporary tool for fine motor activities, tasks, and school work.