6 best ways to learn pencil for any kid
Children tend to develop fine motor skills around the age of two to three years old, and it is in this age that they learn to get a grip over objects and use them as they please. Usually, kids learn to use thick or large objects like crayons, before she’s comfortable using finer objects like a pencil. Before you start to teach a child to use a pencil, you need to notice which her dominant hand is. Once you’re sorted with that here are a few tips to teach a child to hold a pencil.
Holding a pencil or pen correctly requires strong finger and hand muscles and dexterity. A correct pencil grip will enable the writer to move the fingers, controlling the pencil or pen with efficient finger movements. It is very important to address a poor pencil grip early, especially if the writer is left-handed. If it is not corrected, it can affect speed and fluency and impact academic achievement, as well as put undue stress on developing joints causing pain when writing in exams.
Let’s dive deep into the 6 best ways to learn pencil for any kid:
- Relax the grip: Closely monitor your child’s writing. If there is a strong imprint on the next page or pad/desk, then that means the child is applying under pressure on the pencil. While the handwriting might turn out to be neat, this undue pressure is unhealthy for the child. Help your child burst the stress, calmly hold the pencil and try writing again.
- Hold the pencil correctly: The first most important thing is to hold the writing tool correctly. Children love sketch pens and crayons, but to help them practice their handwriting always ensure that they use good quality pencils. The pencil should be held in place with the thumb, index and middle fingers.
- Use shorter pencils: A shorter pencil means less space for cramming in unnecessary fingers. It basically forces kids to pinch with thumb and index finger. This is why the popular curriculum Handwriting Without Tears uses their own brand of short pencils, however, golf pencils work just fine, too. It’s also why occupational therapists often have kids use crayons that have been broken in half if they are having trouble using an age-appropriate grasp. Click here to read more about why kids should use shorter crayons.
- Identify the underlying problem: Often children write illegibly to cover up their mistakes. This could be a spelling or grammatical error. A low self-confidence could also push the child to write in an incomprehensible form. Rather than forcing the child to improve his/her handwriting skills, it would be best to find a solution to these underlying problems without belittling the child.
- Have them hide something under their last two fingers: If shorter pencils and the “pinch and flip” don’t work, then try having students hide something under their pinky and ring fingers. These two fingers are supposed to bend toward the palm while the thumb, index, and middle fingers do all the work. Try using a small ball of playdough, cotton ball, marble, bead, crumpled piece of tissue paper, or a tiny rubbery toy.
Handwriting is a complex skill. Kids have to hold their bodies in a certain way, apply the right pressure to the pencil, and hold the paper. Then they have to know how to start writing the letter, where it goes on the line, and so on.