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Things for holding a pencil properly

(27 Posts)
scrappydappydoo Fri 17-Jun-11 16:27:37

DD1 is in yr R. I've just sat her down to write a Fathers day card and I'm horrified at the way she actually holds her pencil. I'm part blush at not noticing it before but its really bad. I seem to remember when I ws a kid you get these triangular pencil holder things that go round a pencil and 'force' your fingers into the right position. Does anyone now where I can get these from? or something else to encourage her to hold it in the right position? TIA

Rosebud05 Fri 17-Jun-11 16:45:46

I'd like to know this too.

Bonsoir Fri 17-Jun-11 16:50:04

I was obsessive about buying my DD Faber-Castell Grip 2001 pencils and pens to the exclusion of all else as they really help your child to hold a pencil properly.

DeWe Fri 17-Jun-11 16:52:11

Early learning used to sell them about 8 years ago. Don't know if they still do.

PotteringAlong Fri 17-Jun-11 16:52:45

My parents tried to get me to use these for years and I hated it - I confess to holding my pencil in a very caggy handed way but also, if I do say so myself, I have beautiful handwriting!

Can you read what she's written? Then let her get on with it! She'll be fine...! How you hold a pencil won't affect anything other than chopsticks, and I can use those too.

Bonsoir Fri 17-Jun-11 16:55:09

Here and here

mycarscallednev Fri 17-Jun-11 17:01:37

My son has to use pencil grips as he has fingers that dislocate. We searched everywhere - the best are from Paperchase - loads of colours, are left or right hand suitable and have a soft tactile feel. I use them now, as they make holding a pen/pencil far more comfortable.

TeamLemon Fri 17-Jun-11 17:11:30

Good handwriting needs more than a finger grip.
All children need to master gross motor skills, as well as the fine motor skills such as holding a pencil.
Strenthen shoulders and upper arms by encouraging handstands, wheelbarrow walking (think school sports day activities!) throwing and catching, etc
Fine skills activities such as bead threading, counting beans, doing up zips can really help too.

And please don't make too much fuss about handwriting in Rec, or even Yr1. Just be pleased they want to write/make marks!

scrappydappydoo Fri 17-Jun-11 17:25:53

Thanks for input! Don't worry I'm not going to make too much fuss -just don't want her to get into bad habits and that cause problems later on. Her grip looks really uncomfortable (not cagey - kinda of inbetween fingers instead of finger and thumb). Her actual writing is legible (which is probably why I didn't pick up on it) but its not fluid in how she constructs the letters and watching her write I think its because she physically can't write it properly because of her grip.

Teamlemon - I get what you're saying and we do those things as well - I don't expect too much but like I said above I want to correct bad habits before they form.

dikkertjedap Fri 17-Jun-11 18:35:04 Here, you put them on the pencil and child is forced to hold pencil correctly. They come in large range of colours.

dikkertjedap Fri 17-Jun-11 18:37:12

And here

Ixia Fri 17-Jun-11 20:45:51

We have the ones in dikkertjap's first link, although they are cheaper on Ebay. My DD has occupational therapy and the therapist is v keen on correcting LO's grip, as it is easy to do now, but harder once it becomes habit. DD is 6 and it only took a couple of weeks to correct her grip.

Poor grip can lead to cramping and pain later when they have to write for longer periods, even if they seem to be producing good work now with a poor pencil grip.

gordongrumblebum Fri 17-Jun-11 21:22:16

There are wooden pencils in tesco for R or L handers with dents in the side of them to help the grip.
They're not sold online, as far as I can see, otherwise I'd provide link!

blackeyedsusan Fri 17-Jun-11 22:12:07

dd also has occupationl therapy and they are also very keen for her to hold the pencil correctly. it is importnt for fluid legible writing.

Michaelahpurple Fri 17-Jun-11 22:33:27

I like the stabillo fat triangular pencils - saves messing around with the holders

TeamLemon Sat 18-Jun-11 00:44:55

Sorry, didn't mean to imply bad grip wasn't the problem, just that handwriting takes more than just the hand to get right!! grin

scubagoose Wed 20-Jul-11 12:49:15

i too am intersted in this topic. my son is 5 and just coming to the end of reception. we knew he had problems holding his pencil and have tried the grips and thought he was getting a bit better.. his colouring at home is certainly better and he looks to be holding his pens correctly to me.. but I was in school yesterday at an open evening picking up his work and his teacher said they were concerned as he was still having problems and asked me to contact the local health drop in clinic to see if they have any exercises.. Im so upset feeling we may have been too relaxed about his learning.. he was only 5 in May so we really havent pushed him with his writing as we are afraid we may put him off rather than help. he does seem to have really bendy thumbs.. double jointed to say the least.

i contacted the nhs center and they said if school have done "beam and sticky fingers" with him (which they have) then the school will need to refer him. does anyone here have any idea of exercises which may help him? he does Karate and plays with small things like lego which im told can help.

feel really down today.. think we have let him down and am now worried he will get behind in year 1 if we dont tackle it.. he really cant form his letters or numbers at all apart from his name. he seems cleaver enough.. can do maths in his head etc..

agh sorry for the long rant...

alison222 Wed 20-Jul-11 12:59:57

we use these as we found DS kept taking the grips off his pencils and playing with them/loosing them. This year he has also been doing lots of OT/physio to stregthen his arms and shoulders and to strengthen his hands and wrists. It is working well for us.
Also he uses a writing slope - try an arch lever file turned sideways.

IndigoBell Wed 20-Jul-11 13:53:35

Scuba goose - to strengthen his fingers try Theraputty - doing lots of pinching with it, also rolling it into balls with just thumb and first and second finger. Also hide things in the theraputty which he has to get out.

To strengthen his shoulders do press-ups against a wall and arm circles.

To strengthen his core muscles do sit ups.

He needs strong enough core muscles to sit up properly. He needs strong enough shoulders to support his arm, and strong enough fingers to control his pencil.

Unless you think it's actually a visual perception problem and not fine / gross motor skills?

LIZS Wed 20-Jul-11 14:05:31

Any activity involving pinching or using fingers is good (playdough, sand, lego, cutting, making biscuit dough). However would suggest someone observes him as part of ds' problems were due to him beign unable to isolate the movements required to his wrist but used his whole arms which hwas very tiring. Adjusting his posture (feet flat on floor and lower arm supported, using a high kneeling position or exercise ball), using a slope and general strengthening of the muscles (he is hyperflexible) all helped rather than just focussing on the grip itself. He also gripped a pencil too hard. Finger exercises such as touching each fingertip with thimb in turn and back and stretching an elastic band between finger and thumb are more specific ideas to help finger and wrist control.

LIZS Wed 20-Jul-11 14:08:41

and winding an elastic band around a pencil can work just as well as a grip.

lovechocolate Wed 20-Jul-11 15:27:56

Hi, I used to use pencil grips for the children in my class who were holding a pencil incorrectly. I found for some children they worked but for some they were a bit bulky. I started using a piece of blu tac instead and it worked for more of the children. Put a blob of it around the pencil, help your child to get the correct pencil grip then push their fingers into the blu tac. They then have a pencil grip which is moulded to their fingers. It works smile
I agree with all the other suggestions to develop the motor skills. It's really common for children in reception and year one to use pencil grips. I don't think you have let your child down at all smile

scubagoose Wed 20-Jul-11 16:27:21

Thanks..we ill get some putty and have a very active summer doing all these strengthening ideas..thank you all for your help

cory Wed 20-Jul-11 17:19:05

I bought pencilgrips in WhSmiths.

Snowy27 Wed 20-Jul-11 21:32:04

A 'technique' I use with some of the children in my class who have fine motor skills problems is to ask them to hold a 2p coin under their little and ring finger and then pick the pencil up- usually this 'forces' children to pick up the pencil with the correct finger (doesn't work with many but it's worth a go- most of mine can't grasp a pencil in any way!). Also chunky pencils can be better than skinny ones, I've 'carved' pencil holders out of foam before now or you can get special pencils that fit into the palm with two 'prongs' which can help (will try and find a picture!)
Try and make sure the grip isn't too hard either- some children grip their pencil in a 'death grip' which means their fingers get tired more easily!
And fine motor activities like threading, using tweezers etc or using big balls of dough (about the size of the childs head!) which can help develop the arm and hand muscles might always help!

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