4-yo and holding a pencil/etc - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 8 Old 03-29-2008, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel rather silly asking about this and it is more curiosity than anything else. I've noticed kids half my DD's age holding a crayon/marker/pencil better than she does. I thought she would just start holding it naturally on her own, but she seems to need some help. Do some kids need to be "taught" how to hold a pencil?
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#2 of 8 Old 03-29-2008, 12:59 PM
 
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Teacher popping in to say that yes, there are plenty of kids who need a little more support in developing a tripod grasp. Part of the issue is that we're expecting kids to write earlier and earlier in our curriculum these days. If we waited to teach them to write they'd figure out the grasp on their own, but if they're using the wrong grasp a lot then it can become a habit that's hard to break.

The best way to "teach" a child how to hold a pencil is to give them implements that can't be held any other way -- tiny pieces of chalk and crayons, those "pipsqueak makers" that crayola makes, eye droppers (with little dishes of colored water to mix like a mad scientist!), little sponges for sponge painting, a saucer or shallow bowl with a very thin layer of glitter for her to pinch and sprinkle etc . . . All of these things naturally bring their fingers into the right position, or you can model the position when you show them how to use them and then the material will reinforce it by not working if they use their fist.

Another thing you can do to encourage it is to have your child work on a vertical surface, tape pieces of paper to the wall for her to draw on (I usually put a big brightly colored piece of construction paper up first and then put what they're working on on top of that so there's a clear stopping zone before they color on the wall, or buy an easel, or even tape paper to the bottom of the coffee table and have her drawing lying on her back like she's painting the Sistine chapel. That will force (force is a harsh word but I can't think of another way to say it) her to bend her wrist when she draws, and you can't really use your fist with your wrist bent.

Both of these things should feel like fun, if you feel like you're forcing her then I'd back off.
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#3 of 8 Old 03-29-2008, 01:04 PM
 
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Yep. My now 6 year old has just learned how to use a tripod grasp - with the help of her KG teacher. She began writing at 3, on her own, and has used 4 fingers ever since. She has impecable hanwriting, despite the unconventional grasp, but the teacher was wprried her grasp might eventually slow her down a bit. With very little prodding she has picked up the proper grasp. I am thankful that her teacher spotted this, as I also thought eventually she would just gravitate toward the typical grasp.
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#4 of 8 Old 03-29-2008, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great ideas! Thanks so much, mamas, for the feedback.
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#5 of 8 Old 03-29-2008, 04:55 PM
 
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Just popping in to say thank you Momily for the wonderful ideas and thanks citymama for asking the question! My 4 yr old DD does the same thing and the tricks I was using and her pre-K teacher were trying just weren't working. I LOVE the paper on the wall idea!
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#6 of 8 Old 03-30-2008, 12:54 AM
 
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Would an easel work just as well? DD is barely 3, but starting to try to write. The way she hold pencils, etc almost precludes success, though, and it's frustrating her. I like it being invisible though, as I have no interest in pushing her.
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#7 of 8 Old 03-30-2008, 02:13 PM
 
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I bought these for my DD after her teacher suggested them earlier in the year. She started holding her pencils correctly soon after using them.

picture:

http://thepencilgrip.com/dyn_prod.ph...PG-001&k=25774

__________________________________
46-year-old single (divorced), self-employed working, home schooling, mommy to:

19 y-o
12 y-o (private school)
5 y-o (home schooled)
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#8 of 8 Old 03-30-2008, 05:30 PM
 
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My 5 yr old son won't hold a pencil/crayon/marker/pen properly. His occupational therapist tries to work with him on it but haven't seen any positive change in 6 months.

Mama, Artist, Mary Kay Consultant

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