Developing confidence and ease as a young writer involves many factors, but one of the most obvious, and most asked about, is that of developing a good pencil grip.
Rather than re-invent the wheel, I’ve gathered some helpful posts and videos together that you might find helpful. Don’t forget to download The Pencil Grip Song below.
Pencil grip development
- Sarah Goodsell Punkoney wrote 3 great posts on Playdough to Plato that cover pencil grip development in toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners. There are lots of pictures to show the typical different pencil grips as children grow along with tips for parents.
- The School Run: A short video showing some of the different grips children use over time.
Getting little muscles working in young children
- Learn with Play at Home: 3 fun finger strengthening exercises using a pencil (the woodpecker, the caterpillar and the helicopter).
- MamaOT: Lists lots of games and toys you can use to develop grip without using a pencil.
- NHS Choices: short video with play ideas and some good basic information for parents.
Tips for encouraging the correct grip
- Sight and Sound Reading: Pretend your fingers are an alligator.
- Happy Brown House: (Videos) Keep the little fingers curled by grasping a pom pom or using a hand sock.
- The Therapy Group: (Video) Make your own pencil grip that encourages both good pincer action and tucked fingers.
Pencil grip songs
- CallOTChrissy: Video demonstrating how to pick up and hold a pencil correctly while singing The Pencil Grip song. This is the same but in Spanish, and this one is for left handers!
- Handwriting Without Tears: Video showing the same song but with an adult teaching a child.
- Teach Handwriting: Video showing a longer song called Tommy Thumb.
Free Song Poster
Since the Pencil Grip song is so effective, I created a poster you can download HERE, print and pop up on your wall for your kids to use as a reference. It’s such a well known song that I don’t know who created it originally, so please let me know if there’s someone I should be giving credit to!
To hear how the melody goes, watch the pencil grip songs above.
Looking for more on pre-writing skills?
- A research-based post on essential pre-writing skills. You can listen to the podcast here.
- 10 free cutting activities for kids
- Free tracing lines printable
- Free visual discrimination printable