Teaching pencil grips to toddlers is a very important skill. Children should have a proper pencil grip for drawing and writing. It is important because it allows the fine movement necessary for writing. Children should be encouraged to learn the skills of the pencil grip from an early age (from twelve to eighteen months). If they are not able to hold pencils, engage them in indoor and outdoor games, using the larger muscles of their body (arms and legs) to develop gross motor skills.
Important points for teaching pencil grips to toddlers:
- Teach the children to hold the pencil near the sharpened end about an inch from the tip.
- Use a shorter pencil as it is good enough for little fingers.
- Teach the children to pinch the pencil with their pointer finger and thumb.
- Do not give heavy pressure on the children for tracing and writing.
- Find some good time when the children are happily ready for tracing.
- Most child experts agree that a tripod pencil grip is best (with 3 fingers on the pencil – thumb, index and middle finger), there are some other grips that allow the children to write neatly at a reasonable speed without tiring easily.
- Do not force the children to hold a pencil with three fingers before they are naturally ready to do so.
- Look at the following pictures that show how the pencil grip skill develops in the children.
Teaching proper pencil grips to toddlers is really important for a number of reasons. Primarily, you want the child to feel comfortable while writing and secondly, correct pencil grip will help improve handwriting. A child does activities like scribbling, , working with , etc in the . These activities naturally develop their motor skills. Even trying to colour within the lines is an important activity that builds strength and control in the forearm. For older kids, mazes and dot-to-dots are great activities for drawing straight lines, which they’ll need to master to form many letters.