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This week I have crossed two posts where parents were asking about their child’s pencil grip and how to a correct problems. It was fortunate that I was just wrapping up my review for The Pencil Grip, Inc. of The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit and The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors, so I was able to share a cool tool that could make the process simple.
This is one of the reasons there is so much emphasis on fine motor skill activities for young children. We are really doing strength training for the classroom or homeschool. When a child has not developed the strength in their hands for the rigors of daily writing activities their little hand will become fatigued. Fatigues can lead to two things: student who refuses to write, or poor pencil grip to compensate for weakness. Both lead to struggles that waste learning time and lead to a misplaced frustration with learning activities. Something as simple as correcting their pencil grip could solve a much bigger problem.
Fine motor skill activities do not have to be expensive or extravagant. My oldest child loved to shred the junk mail. As I sorted the mail, I would give hime a pile of the rejects. He would shred letters into strips before putting them into the recycle. Exercises like these help strengthen little hands. Manipulatives like play-dough where children shape and squeeze are as creative as they are strengthening. Time on the swings and jungle gym can also help with your child’s grip strength.
We have also set up sorting stations with buttons or beads for our preschool kids. A simple egg carton with numbers for them to fill or allow them to creatively sort according to characteristics they choose. Picking through small items are a great way to strengthen little hands. We have had success using Pearler Beads with kids as young as five. Not only did the kids practice their fine motor skills, but we made some pretty sweet little Mine Craft ornaments for our future Christmas tree.
The Pencil Grip, Inc. not only has scientifically engineered grips that help your child correct the way they hold their pencil; they have also provided a guide to help you through the process. The grips we used at home came in a set of three and could be used to incrementally change your child’s holding pattern in a way that was less intrusive. As they work with the grip they are strengthening the correct hand posture and using their muscles without fatigue. You won’t be stuck using them forever. You can transition between the three at the pace of your child.
My son liked the 3rd grip for himself since he is left handed. He has a good posture but the grip kept him from getting that writers dent we all hate. He keeps sneaking it away from his brother every chance he gets, so I know he must like it.
One of the best ways to build hand strength in your child’s dominant hand is cutting with scissors, by far. My kid’s would often just shred through a piece of construction paper right into the garbage can. If you are concerned about safety The Pencil Grip, Inc. has developed the Safest Scissors on the market. I would advise gettig them early.
The little arm offers a return action so the scissors open back to cut again. This motion of opening the scissors is what usually kept any of my kids from using scissors while they were younger. With the assistance they could be cutting safely far sooner. Which could mean your might not even have to correct pencil grip for those strong little hands. Either way it is a good set to have on hand for when you feel like your little one is ready to begin learning more coordinated motions with his hands.
Feel free to read the other reviews in the link and check out their Kwik Stix review for coloring and painting with out the hassle.