These Easy Tips for Correcting Pencil Grip are proven and effective ways to help you teach your child how to hold their pencil correctly.
Learning a proper pencil grasp can sometimes be tricky for kids, but it's so important! If kids learn how to hold a pencil incorrectly, and are allowed to continue without correction, it can be a hard habit to break. Thankfully, there are methods to correcting pencil grip in kids who might have developed the wrong pencil grasp. It may take some work and reminders, but I believe your child can learn how to hold a pencil correctly with a few of my favorite tricks that are easy and fun.
Tips & Tricks for Correcting Pencil Grip
There are many ways you can teach the proper pencil grip to your child, but I have a few favorites that I go back to over and over again. These are things I've shared with parents of my students back when I was teaching in a traditional classroom, and these are things that I share with homeschool friends now when they ask me for advice.
Fine Motor Skills Activities Before Pencils
Before even picking up a pencil to seriously learn how to write, preschoolers should be immersed in loads of fine motor skills activities for kids. Babies start working on the fine motor skills needed for writing when they use a pincer grasp to start picking up small snacks off their highchair tray, so we need to continue fine motor skills development to strengthen hand muscles in children before teaching them to write.
There are many basic play activities for developing fine motor skills that can be set up easily with things around the house. Fine motor skills activities can benefit kids in many other areas besides writing, including self-care tasks for daily living, so they are super important across the board.
It may benefit your child to do more fine motor skills activities to strengthen their fingers and naturally help with pencil grip. If you know they haven't had enough fine motor skills play, definitely start there first.
Use Smaller Writing Tools To Encourage Correct Pencil Grip
School supply marketing has convinced many people that fat crayons and markers are necessary for little hands, but that isn't really the case when learning to hold a pencil correctly. In fact, the smaller size of golf pencils, broken crayons/chalk, small specialty crayons designed to be easy to grip, or crayon rocks naturally require children to use a better pencil grip because there is less surface area. These tiny writing utensils basically force little hands to hold them correctly when children pick them up.
The Pom Pom Method for Correcting Pencil Grip
The Pom Pom Method for Correcting Pencil Grip is my go-to method for helping kids hold their pencil. This method helps kids isolate the fingers needed to hold the pencil, but also gives the extra fingers something to do.
With the Pom Pom Method for Teaching Pencil Grip, place a small craft pom pom or another small item (penny, mini eraser, marble, wadded up tissue, etc.) in between the last two fingers and your child's palm. This will force your child to keep those extra fingers tucked under and out of the way while they hold their pencil because their last two fingers will be holding an item against their palm.
Alternative ideas for small items to use instead of a pom-pom for the Pom Pom Method for pencil grip:
- mini eraser
- marble (may be a little too hard)
- wadded up tissue
- tiny slip of paper
Need to see the what The Pom Pom Method looks like with an alternative item? Here's a video using a wadded up tissue.
The "OK" Method for Correcting Pencil Grip
With the "OK" Method for Correcting Pencil Grip, you will be teaching your child to isolate the thumb and pointer finger to help them grip their pencil by following these steps:
- Tell your child to hold their hand flat.
- Next, have your child touch the tip of their thumb and the tip of their pointer finger together, forming an "OK" sign or circle with their fingers.
- Next, tell them to open the circle a little and place the pencil in between their fingers to grip it.
- Lastly, tell them to curl their other fingers under, so their pencil can rest on their middle finger.
The Pinch & Flip Method for Correcting Pencil Grip
The Pinch and Flip Method for Correcting Pencil Grip is a super easy way to learn how to hold a pencil. To teach this method to your child, follow these steps:
- Tell your child to lay the pencil on the table in front of them with the point of the pencil pointing away from them.
- Next, tell them to hover their hand over the pencil and pinch the pencil with their thumb and index finger close to the sharpened point, but still on the painted part of the pencil.
- Have them lift up their pencil off the table with their thumb and index finger.
- Then, have them gently push the pencil away from them, so it flips around and rests properly in between the thumb and index finger.
The Sock Method for Correcting Pencil Grip
I would try many of the other pencil grip tricks before this one because it's the most invasive, but this one is worth a shot for the kid that needs a really strong visual to demonstrate which fingers to use to help hold their pencil.
It may look silly, but the sock method for correcting pencil grip is really quite easy to set up and is sure to get some giggles out of your little one.
To try The Sock Method for Correcting Pencil Grip, follow these steps:
- Take an old, clean sock (or a really fun new one purchased from your favorite dollar store) and cut two holes in the toe end, relatively close to each other, and large enough for fingers to go through the hole.
- Have your child slide the sock on their hand, putting their thumb and index finger through the holes. The rest of the hand can curl up together and take a nap inside while the pencil rests on them.
Encouragement for Correcting Pencil Grip
After kids have been shown the correct grip to use, gentle reminders are appropriate. It may require you to do some "hand-over-hand" instruction (where you physically help them get their pencil grip correct), but with time, they will start to get the hang of it.
More Resources for Developing Fine Motor Skills
What are Fine Motor Skills and why develop them?
Fine Motor Skills Activities for Kids
Developing Fine Motor Skills Series
The Ultimate Guide to Fine Motor Skills
100 Household Items for Fine Motor Skills
10 Ways to Boost the Power of Playdough
Fizzy Fine Motor Skills Fun
Meeghan B Mousaw
Sunday 29th of March 2020
Thanks for the tips on how to hold a pencil correctly! I also like the "alligator trick"...kids think it is funny.
Thursday 21st of November 2019
Awesome list of tips, hope that you will continue sharing this type of content.
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Monday 9th of September 2019
[…] If you’re struggling to explain or correct your child’s pencil grip, these 6 tips are a great place to start. Once your child has the correct pencil grip, you can incorporate pencil […]
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Tuesday 30th of July 2019
[…] 6 Tips for Teaching Correct Pencil Grip with helpful how-to videos happybrownhouse.c… […]
Sunday 30th of June 2019
These are the best ideas I’ve ever seen for teaching kids how to hold a writing utensil. Thank you so much. I love it! I’m a Pre-K teacher by the way.