As mentioned yesterday we are going to focus on how a child holds a pencil. These are a few of our favorite techniques to use in a classroom:
1-Easels- easels are not just for painting anymore. Easels are a great way to have children “practice” the correct hand position for writing, without it seeming like work!!! When a child is writing on a surface that is vertical, they are forced to put their hands in the correct position while holding a writing utensil for success writing. Check out the blog here where we talked more about using easels.
2-Short Crayons/Pencils- Most of the time teachers who have a type-A personality want to throw away all those little crayon pieces that are acquired over the course of a school year, but DON’T!! Those little crayons or pencils are perfect for handwriting practice. When using a short pencil, a child has a harder time holding the pencil with a fist grip and must switch to an immature pencil grasp and hopefully eventually to a mature tripod grasp.
3-“Fat” Crayons or Pencils- All kids develop at their own rates. Some children take a little longer to refine those little muscles in the their hands, wrists and arms. So why not help them. For smaller hands that have a harder time holding onto skinny writing utensils, give them a chance to be successful using a more developmentally appropriate utensil. Once they are successful and confident then introduce the smaller crayon or pencil.