Did you know it is easier for your child to write using all three fingers (tripod hold) and a smaller, shorter pencil?
Tip: Put those jumbo pencils and jumbo crayons away, and start looking for those broken crayons and golf pencils! Utilizing smaller writing utensils will naturally encourage and build your child’s fine motor skills and writing fluency.
Handwriting is a fine motor skill that takes practice. And a forceful pencil grip can cause hand cramps, fatigue and muscle weakness–making writing no fun! On the other hand, a relaxed hand positioned in a three-finger grip makes writing easier and more enjoyable!
When children begin preschool, they will be instructed to draw and write on a daily basis. At this motor skill developmental stage, preschool-age children are most likely using a five-finger pencil grasp. This stage of pencil-grasp development is normal and a necessary step in moving from developing large muscles (shoulder stability) to smaller muscle development in the hands. So, don’t be in a hurry to move your child to the three-finger grip until he or she is developmentally ready. The Pre-K Success Kit offers fun and engaging activities for children to develop their fine motor skills necessary for handwriting.
By the age of five or six, children should be physically comfortable with a three-finger grip. Children in kindergarten are expected to not only write on a daily basis, but are expected to use writing utensils with control and precise movements rather than with large scribbles. A good pencil grip will help your child write neatly, efficiently and will give your child the confidence to meet these kindergarten standards.
If you have to, break a few of those beautiful new crayons!
By teaching your child how to use an efficient pencil grip you will minimize his chance of hand fatigue and improve his coordination and overall legibility. It is never too late to learn good pencil-holding skills and a more relaxed fluent movement.