Teaching Children Preschool and Kindergarten Age to Hold Pencils Correctly so the can Write Easier
By: R. Renée Bembry
Teaching children to write can be fun and rewarding experience but sometimes gripping a pencil properly gets in a child’s way of mastering the procedure. The challenge could be even more difficult if the person doing the teaching is right-handed and the child is left-handed or vice versa. Therefore, when teaching children to hold their pencils properly, the first thing that helpers must establish is whether the children are right-handed or left-handed. If the child favors the opposite hand of the person doing the teaching, the person doing the teaching must think in opposites while instructing proper pencil holding procedures.
Show The Child How To Hold The Pencil By Gripping A Pencil Yourself
By holding a pencil yourself, children can examine pencil position while in your hand so they can copy your grip. This examination gives children a good idea of how and where about they are supposed to place their own pencils between their own fingers. This examination may be extremely useful to children prone to learning by “sight” as opposed to “hearing”. However, the demonstration is likely to help any child with the process.
Tell Children To Copy Your Pencil Holding Position
Once children have examined the pencil in your hand, have them pick up a pencil and imitate your pencil holding position. Sometimes, verbal pencil holding assistance does the trick, especially when children are used to holding crayons in different manners for coloring pictures and such. Other times, however, helpers may need to assist children with verbal instructions as well as assisting them physically by placing pencils between their fingers.
If the child is a preschooler and in some cases even a kindergartener, bear in mind that their little fingers may be nimble, however, their dexterity may not be fully developed. For this reason, expect to see them readjust the pencil with their other hand quite a bit until they get the hang of picking up the pencil and adjusting it with the same hand.
More Pencil Holding Grip Strategies
When physically placing pencils for children, try to get them to concentrate on using their thumb to squeeze the pencils against their second and third fingers. Often times, children will wrap all their fingers around their pencils. This type of pencil holding prevents flexibility while writing, and thus, helpers should encourage children to avoid this type of pencil grip.
Sometimes persons teaching pencil holding tend to be rigid in their beliefs that all writers must hold pencils the same exact way. This is simply not true. The main thing is that children are able to hold their pencils in comfortable positions that allow them to write with flexibility at realistic speeds.
When teaching children to hold their pencils properly, commend them for their efforts as well as for any letters, numbers, shapes, or “whatever” they manage to write. Remember they are just beginning to write and will more than likely relish repeating the task when helpers view their efforts favorably.