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The Pencil Grasp - Pediatric Occupational Therapy, Fine Motor

December 07, 2018 by Kinetic Kids, Inc.

Pencil Grasp Strategies [Pediatric Occupational Therapy, Pediatric Therapy, Sensory Therapy, Sensory Gym, Pediatric Speech Therapy, Handwriting in Kids, Fine Motor Development]

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If your child has difficulty with handwriting it could be an underlying issue with their fine motor skills.  They could be writing with too much pressure secondary to over-grasping their pencil, or their writing may be light pressure or hard to read on the page secondary to a weak pencil grasp.  It could be harder for them to form letters if they are holding their pencil incorrectly.  Also look out to see if your child has difficulty with other fine motor tasks such as fasteners, manipulating small toys, or opening food packages.

In Need of Additional Awesomesauce? 

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Here are some other related blog articles that we've created here at Kinetic Kids that may be of interest to you:

Try These Techniques For a Better Pencil Grasp

Do you notice your child use their whole hand and fist to hold on to their pencil? Do they use all their fingers or seem “awkward” in their grasp? 

There are a lot of ways you can use household items or easily obtainable items and strategies to improve your child’s pencil grasp! You may have seen pencil grasp holders used as a strategy for your child to learn to maintain the correct grasp.  Listed below are other ways to assist in your child’s grasp without having to purchase a pencil gripper!


  • Put a close pin on your child’s pencil; have your child hold their pointer and on the top of the clip and their last 3 fingers wrapped around the bottom of the clip under the pencil.  [The grasp pattern in the photo should be matured in your child’s motor skills between ages 4-6.]
pediatric occupational therapy - fine motor development - pediatric therapy - pediatric speech therapy
  • Have your child keep a pom pom or cotton ball secure in their palm with their last two fingers while grasping their pencil with their first three fingers.
  • Put a nut or bolt around your child’s pencil for finger placement cues; secure it with a rubber band.
  • Cut two holes out of a sock to have your child place their fingers to hold the pencil through the two small holes

Other fine motor activities to try for strengthening your child’s hand:

  • Playing with putty
  • Using close pins or tweezers in board games
  • Hanging things with push pins
  • Popping bubble wrap with one finger

Did You Know That ...

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... yoga is also a great way to build your child's core muscles? 

Please check out our guide on yoga poses that helps kids to de-stress and focus (GREAT resource for school too!):

Yoga Poses That Help Kids Destress & Focus

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Topics: pediatric occupational therapy, fine motor skills, pencil grasp strategies, fine motor development

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