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When to use a Pencil Gripper?

Good Pencil Grips for Kids



While I believe that pencil grips for kids cannot really improve handwriting on their own, there is a place for using a pencil grip or gripper as part of an overall program to improve a child's handwriting skills. 


The aim of a "proper" pencil grasp is to be able to hold and use the pencil in such a way that is not tiring and enables the child to carry out age-appropriate writing tasks with ease. 

When to give a child a pencil grip



When To Give a Child a Pencil Grip


Once a child's fine motor skills have improved through the use of fun activities, I will sometimes make use of a pencil grip to train the fingers to hold the pencil more comfortable. The aim is to get the child to hold the pencil comfortably so the fingers can easily form the letters for smooth handwriting.


These are the factors I consider:

  • When the child has been working on hand and finger dexterity, but the fingers have still not learned to maintain a functional pencil grasp
  • When the pencil gripper prevents fatigue and enables the child to write more easily, and is not distracting or uncomfortable for the child to use.


Write-It-Right Grips


For Left-Handers




For Right Handers



These cute fish pencil grippers are marketed as "skill trainers" as they assist the child in holding the pencil at a more efficient angle, as well as positioning the fingers on the pencil.


They come in 2 sizes (for kids age 3-6, and kids age over 6), which is terrific. They also have grippers specifically for left handed children, which is even more terrific!


I like the fact that the child's fingers are so easily placed, and the design of the grip makes it harder for the fingers to "slip out" of position. The design naturally opens up the space between the thumb and index finger and although it tends to favor the index finger being flexed (whereas I think you get more finger movement when the last index finger joint is neutral or slightly extended), I think these are a great choice of pencil grips for kids.


Small Size Pencil Grip and Regular Size Pencil Grip



You can get the Write-It-Right Grips here:


Write-It-LEFT pencil grip


for left handed kids


Write-It-RIGHT pencil grip


for right handed kids


Do Pencil Grips For Kids Work?


If you give a pencil grip to kids without working on their fine motor skills, they are likely to just keep using the poor grasp over the pencil gripper! Kids with poor fine motor skills often find pencil grips uncomfortable.


When you think about it, most poor pencil grips are a child's way of compensating for a lack of skills elsewhere. You can read more about the Essential Bases for fine motor development to see if your child needs to work on any other skills first.


However, if you are concerned about your child's pencil grip, or if it is interfering with your child's ability to write neatly and efficiently, please request an occupational therapist evaluation! Pencil grips for kids are NOT a substitute for therapy! 


If your child just needs some encouragement and extra exposure to develop a better pencil grip, then try some of the fine motor activities on our site



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