I don't know about you, but teaching basic life skills to my children is pretty much last on my list of likes when it comes to parenting. Want to chat about your day? Great. Want to ask me a question about the sky, or the circle of life or religion? Let's do it. But you want to know how to use scissors? Or how to hold a pencil? I have no idea how to communicate this.
My preschooler is learning to write, and I recently had a parent-teacher conference discussing how we can help him. He is 4 and refuses to hold writing utensils properly. Part of it is his age; I know this will come with time. But I think part of it can also be traced back to my complete paralysis when it comes to teaching this skill. After a chat with his teachers and a few friends, I decided to make a list of helpful items to get kids on the right track. Or should I say write track? Groan. I know, I know.
Check out these 5 products to help your child learn to hold a pencil:
- The Crossover grip from The Pencil ($11 for six) helps keep fingers where they are supposed to be.
Keep reading for the rest of the list!
- This book ($8), with full-color photos, gives kids a visual step-by-step to holding a pencil.
- The Writing Claw ($10 for five) is another option from The Pencil Grip. I think this would be great for kids because it shows them just where their fingers should be on the pencil.
- Triangle crayons ($6) are a great way for young children to practice holding a writing utensil, as their hands naturally create the tripod when holding the triangle shape.
- This cool little tool is the PenAgain Twist N' Write Pencil from Baumgartens ($3 for two). It was specifically designed for smaller hands, so it's great for beginners.
If you decide that you just don't want to deal with extra stuff, my son's teachers also suggested having your child practice writing at an easel or chalkboard. The thinking behind this is that holding their arm up in front tends to force them to hold the chalk correctly and also strengthens their muscles!
Do you have any tips for teaching your child to hold a pencil?