How to Improve Pencil Grip in Your Child
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The “tripod grip” (holding pencil between thumb, index finger and middle finger) is known to be the perfect and the efficient way of holding the pencil. Some also practice the quadropod grip including the ring finger along with middle finger. These two ways are considered to be standard techniques making the writing comfortable and fluent.
When a child shows difficulty in holding the pencil then its a challenging task to parents and teachers. Here are some tips in learning pencil grip.
How to introduce tripod grip?
Introduce the three fingers to your child and show the way of holding the pencil between the thumb and index finger. The pencil should be resting to the fist to make writing easier.
Now for children having difficulty even after the demonstration you have to work with some ideas like
1) Show them the symbol “OK” or “BEST” using fingers. Using the other hand place the pencil between the thumb and index finger.
2) Pass the pencil from one hand to the other hand placing between the first two fingers.
3) Ask your child to pick the pencil with first two fingers. Roll them round with the other hand; this reaches the perfect pencil grip.
When to introduce pencil grip?
Start as early as possible before your child starts his preschool, but remember “never force” your child. Make a regular routine of writing/drawing for 5 to 10 minutes in your child. Do not expect your child to learn in a day or sooner, Every child has its own grasping capacity, let them take their own time. Holding pencil requires strength in shoulder and arm muscles which grows as the age. Be patient and encourage writing skills. A parent has to make the writing and drawing as a fun activity without any punishments. It might take around 4 years of age for the perfect pencil grip in children.
How to promote pencil grip?
1) Give them lot of scribbling activity especially crayons. This promotes the pencil holding and colours make them fun.
2) Provide short pencils/crayons as long once may be unmanageable for tiny hands.
3) Use pencils that have edges which provide grip to fingers.
Which are the activities that promote pencil grip?
Activities that involve hand exercises with fingers provide strength helping the pencil grip easily.
1) Allow your toddler to open the lids of cans/bottles that gives strength to fingers.
2) Dropping coins into money boxes.
3) Tearing paper into small bits.
4) Playing with clay.
5) Encourage hand gestures.
Pencil grippers like CLAW and Grotto Grip are helpful to teach a child setting and resting the fingers at the beginning. But make sure once you introduce these tools they should not get used to it as they grow.
Things to be known when your child is writing:
1) Your child should not grip the pencil too tightly pressuring the knuckles. This is improper immature writing resulting in pencil points breakage and the paper holes. The hands should be relaxed and free writing.
2) Improper sitting position like under dark and leaning the back is stressing and discouraging. Your child should be sitting straight with bottom on the chair seat and feet on the floor. the writing area may be straight or slanting board.
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