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Awkward pencil grip? Messy handwriting?


How your child hold’s their pencil can have a big impact on the level of control they are ale to achieve when learning to write and form letters.

The ideal is that they develop a ‘tripod’ grip – this is where they can position the pencil between their thumb, index and middle fingers (as shown in the picture). By holding the pencil in this way your child is using the strongest part of the hand to stabilise and guide pencil movements, this also allows for the development of fluent finger movements required when your child begins joining letters.

If your child crosses their thumb over the pencil, squashing the pencil between the inside of the thumb and the top of the index finger, it is likely that they have a weakness in the muscles surrounding the base of the thumb. This may cause your child to write very slowly, and they may experience cramps and tiredness in their hands when writing for longer periods of time. By holding the pencil in this way it is also difficult for them to achieve the fluency of movement required for joining up letters.

There are a number of ways to develop a child’s hand strength that will help with overcoming messy, unclear handwriting caused by hand weakness.

15th March 2011 | Karen | Uncategorized

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