Project Play Therapy’s favorite pencil grips for improving your child’s handwriting
As pediatric occupational therapists, we’re always on the lookout for the best tools to help our clients. Today we’ve put together our favorite pencil grips that we use to improve our children’s handwriting skills and fine motor skills.
Grips make it possible for your child to write and draw neatly without getting tired as quickly. Kids who struggle to develop a good grip may exhaust the muscles in their hands, wrists or even their arms. While improving handwriting, children also improve fine motor development and dexterity.
While handwriting difficulty is a common challenge among youngsters, our therapists always look for symptoms associated with particular learning disorders; including dysgraphia, dyspraxia and dyslexia. These conditions can affect tasks like spelling, drawing and visualization; along with fine motor skills, planning and recognition/perception.
Developing strong handwriting skills with grip aids is the best way we can distinguish between a child learning to write, or potentially showing signs of an underlying condition. To learn more about these conditions, Project Play’s Handwriting Without Tears Program, or to schedule an evaluation for your child, speak with one of our a therapists.
So, now you must be wondering which pencil grips are best for your kiddos. Look no further! Our occupational therapists here at Project Play have put together a list of their favorite pencil grips just for you!
1. The Pencil Grip
The Pencil Grip is an old classic! Squishy and easy for fingers to mold with, it provides ergonomic support for the tripod writing position. Additionally, it comes in a jumbo size for our writers with small hands.
2. The Grotto Grip
This stylish grip was designed and tested by occupational therapists themselves. The guard keeps fingers from switching positions and ergonomically guides fingers to the correct placement for a great tripod writing position!
3. The C.L.A.W. Grip
C.L.A.W. stands for Controlling Letters of Adolescent/Adult Writers. This unique grip guides each finger to its proper place on the writing utensil. With each finger in its own slot they can’t overlap improperly. The CLAW comes in three sizes to meet the needs of each pediatric or adult writer!
4. Homemade Pencil Grip: The Binder Clip Grip
Don’t panic if your child loses all their fancy pencil grips! If when that happens, we have some great homemade pencil grip options for you. A binder clip on a pencil creates three clear areas for each finger to be placed. It is also easily transferred from pencil to pencil!
5. The Pom Pom Trick
Another homemade grip is the pom pom trick! Simply place a pom pom in the palm of your hand and hold it with your pinky and ring finger. Then use your other three fingers (thumb, pointer and middle finger) to grasp the writing utensil. With your pinky and ring finger occupied, your other three fingers must learn how to correctly grip the pencil and develop stronger muscles for handwriting.
Have any tips or tools we missed? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments.