Holding a pencil correctly is important, but not a skills that comes naturally to all children. Children are not born knowing how to hold a pencil correctly. This is a skill they must develop- over time. And an early step in the process is developing the muscles needed to hold a pencil correctly. Below are 4 easy to implement steps to help your young child develop stronger pencil gripping muscles:
1. Play with clay and dough– kneading, squeezing, rolling, and pinching clay or dough is a great work out for little hands.
2. Dig! Dig in the sand. Dig in the garden. Dig in a rice tub. Dig marbles out of play dough. Just dig!
3. Use chopsticks and tongs. Eat meals with chopsticks. (When my children were young we established one supper a week that was a chopsticks only meal.) Use tongs for serving or moving items from one bowl to another.
4. Wash hands with bar soap. We are a liquid soap culture and most children never use bar soap. The twirling of the soap in small hands requires the same muscles needed to hold a pencil correctly. And washing hands is important too!
Correct pencil grip cannot happen unless the muscles in the hand are developed enough to comply. Help your child develop those muscles!
Side note: Those pencil “grippers” which can be placed on pencils to help with finger placement do no good if the muscles are not developed. Usually they end up being chew toys!
Please don’t forget to Like, share, and subscribe to Growing the Whole Child. (You can use the icons in the upper right or follow in the bottom right!) This type of support helps keep Growing the Whole Child active.