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  • Writer's pictureEmily

Get a (pencil) grip!

There is SO very much involved in early writing. I will be adding Posts with ideas and advice for you here on all the different aspects over time. But pencil grip seemed a good place to start.

Helping your child with their pencil grip is important but can be difficult for Little hands and fingers. Here's some images and video clips to demonstrate what a correct pencil grip looks like and how to achieve it. Click on the image arrows to cycle through the images.

Young children do not always have the level of fine motor skills needed to form smooth controlled lines - yet! But helping them to develop a ‘tripod grip’ shown in the images is important because it is harder to undo bad habits later. Later on, a different grip can lead to hand aches, difficulty writing fluently or difficulty writing on a line.

There are some great products available to help your child with their pencil grip (in the form of grips to add to pencils and pencils/crayons etc designed for early writing and smaller hands).

I have linked our favourites here.

(These are affiliate links which means that I make a very small commission if you choose to buy anything but does not affect the price for you).

The play dough trick is great and if you already have some dough at home is free! It's fab because its 100% mouldable your your child’s hand.

✏️ You can see from the short video that I just place a ball of the dough around the pencil, help the child to hold with a tripod grip and then gently push their fingers into the dough.

✏️ I wouldn’t necessarily use this every time they write but it’s very comfortable for them and is a fun way of ensuring the grip is correct without constantly correcting them and moving their hands.

Other Tips for Pencil Grip:

- use shorter pencils and crayons

- practice mark making on upright surfaces like an easel

- help them to pick up the pencil themselves correctly so you don’t have to ‘interfere’ and correct them.

There’s a short video in the first image of this page included of a trick that helps them to do this. You place the pencil on the table, pinch with thumb and first finger, then kind of swing the pencil back onto the hand.... best just see the clip- that’s hard to explain!

- try to be relaxed about the issue so they don’t become frustrated or think they can’t do it. Perhaps work on grip during colouring activities for example rather than making it more formal.

Any questions or comments, please leave them below.


Click here to see all our favourite crayons, pencils and fine motor resources. Again, this is an affiliate link.

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