writing hand position - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-09-2002, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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My 3yo dd has been writing and drawing pictures for almost one year now. When she first started writing/painting she grasped the writing instrument in her fist. Not wanting to discourage her by imposing our will, her father and I encouraged her to draw in the position most comfortable to her. Now she is getting more proficient, but she still holds her crayons etc. in a fist. I am showing her how to hold the crayon "correctly," but she is strongly resisting. Part of me says to let go and let her do what is comfortable to her, but another part says she isn't doing it "right," and if she doesn't learn now, she will go through life holding her pens like a three-year old. Any suggestions or experiences would be appreciated.
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#2 of 5 Old 06-09-2002, 08:45 PM
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I do think it's important to teach the correct grip because that is how the muscles develop- by using them, but three may be a little young for her yet. I would help her to develop the muscles she will need by having her draw and paint on a vertical surface like a chalkboard mounted to the wall, or paper taped to a wall or door. Let her play with strawberry huller and tongs, clip springloaded clothespins to popsicle sticks and picks up small objects to strengthen her fmuscles. My hunch is that once her muscles are a little stronger, she will change her grasp on her own.
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#3 of 5 Old 06-09-2002, 08:58 PM
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I agree that it's important to encourage the correct grip, but it is a little too soon now for your dd.

She will find it easier with some tools than others - use a variety, eg big chunky pencils and paintbrushes in addition to smaller crayons etc. It may be worth investing in some rubber grips to go over pencils at some stage, these make it much easier for small hands.

I wouldn't push it, three is young, but see if you can do occasional short sessions 'correctly' then build on that. Don't put her off by insisting, as she will find it tiring at first. Could you maybe make a special time when you practice correctly - or using a special book for colouring it, or when 'writing' things with mummy, so that it doesnt affect her everyday creative sessions? If you do this for short daily periods she will develop better muscle control - just a couple of minutes at a time at first.

Hope this helps!
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#4 of 5 Old 06-09-2002, 08:59 PM
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My ds was 5 yo before he began holding the crayon, pen, pencil the correct way and not in the "fist" hold. His teachers and I worked w/him on this, but not forcefully. Instead, we did things to help his muscles. Like putting shaving cream on a cookie tray and using his index finger to write his letters. He loved doing that and it was fun for him and not work.

Good Luck~


Lisa, Todd, Dane and Amber: & :::
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#5 of 5 Old 06-18-2002, 03:21 PM
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Here is a cute way to tell the child how to hold the pencil... hold the tip of your nose with your thumb and first two fingers, then take away your hand and slip the pencil in between the fingers. It takes children a little time to get the hang of it, and they will revert to their old way when they are intent, but the habit will start forming.
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