Stick figures, doodles, and abstract drawings.
These are the things that you would see on your child’s pad or notebook. Images that you would love to put on the fridge or hanging on the wall of his room as a decoration.
Oftentimes, the imperfection of their artwork melts our heart because we could see the innocence within those drawings but we must need to supervise and help them improve how they hold their pencil or crayons. This ability to take a grip on a pencil or crayon is what we call the pencil grip but first, we must know what the term means.
In today’s article, we will discuss the ages of toddlers when they practice different types of pencil grasps. We’ll also discuss the ways to develop their pencil and the suitable product to purchase for us to help the child execute it properly.
Before we start, we must take note of some word definitions which may help us understand more of the concept of the pencil grip of toddlers and pre-school children.
Digital: finger or the pinkie side of the hand
l Palmar: the inside part of the hand
Pronate: turn the forearm or the hand so the hand is directed downwards
Static tripod: refers to the three-finger grasp
Quadrupod: refers to the four-finger grasp
Dynamic tripod: refers to the dynamic finger movements of the child
The Finger and Hand Positions
a. Digital Pronate Grasp
is seen with toddlers aged 2-3. It is when the fingers and wrist touch the bottom of the writing utensil. The toddler maybe moving his fingers but he involves the movement of the whole
The Strokes and Drawings: most of the outputs of a toddler with a digital pronate grasp are full of crooked lines or if not crooked most are broken. Some can’t create a perfect circle yet when practicing with this type of pencil grip
b. Quadrupod Grasp:
is done by toddlers aged 3-4. It is also known as the four-finger grasp; three fingers touch the pencil while they are tucked on the fourth finger. Then the body of the writing utensil may be resting on the palmar.
The Strokes and Drawings: at this time, the toddler is capable of holding the pressure on the tip of the writing utensil allowing them to move more fingers without a lot of arm movements. This, allows him to create better-looking shapes and they are capable of controlling the crooked lines but the motion of their writing is still slow.
c. Static Tripod Grasp:
is also seen with toddlers aged 3-4. It is called the three finger grasp; two fingers pinch the utensil the middle finger is tucked to the side of the pencil. The forearms and wrist might be moving but the fingers are not moving or static.
The Strokes and Drawing: Children who have this pencil grip create straight lines but smaller shapes as to the pressure on the tip of the writing utensil.
d. Dynamic Grasp:
is done by children aged 5-6. At this time, the child is able to move his fingers back and forth easily with minimal wrist movement and they are able to put their arm on the writing surface instead of suspending it on air. It is also referred to as the 3 finger grasp, the 2 fingers on the pencil while on the middle finger. The 4th and 5th fingers are tucked into the palm that gives control to the hand on the writing surface.
The Strokes and Drawings: at this time, the child is capable of creating more defined shapes and lines. When he is coloring, he is capable of observing the proper way to fill in the shape with colors. You may
observe that their strokes are better
Things to Consider:
The kinds of pencil grasp mentioned above are components of handwriting which is a fine motor skill. The following are the other things to observe with the toddler especially with the ages 2-6 when they are supposed to start doing things on their own.
2-3 years old:
A toddler is able to:
use spoon and fork correctly
zips and unzips clothes
3-4 years old
He is able to:
button and unbutton clothes
trace shapes on paper
l 5-6 years old
As a pre-school child, he is capable of:
using the scissors to cut shapes properly
drawing definite shapes
writing with a decent writing speed and a little precision
The following age ranges and skills differ depending on the student’s ability. These are just ideas that can help you decide what to seek advice from a child therapist.
The Fine Motor Skills Activities:
Building Blocks with Lego Blocks:
sparks the child’s imagination and improves the movements of arms and the child’s hand controls.
Play Dough Modelling
helps the child develop precision and control of the fingers and hands
Proper Pencil Grip Practice:
sit with your child to observe his pencil grip and hand movement. Show to them first the correct finger and thumb positioning
Correct Sitting Position Practice:
bottom back on the chair
feet flat on the floor; best practiced with Flexispot’s High Back Office Task Chair JAIR which can support the height of the child and let him do the proper posture when writing because of its widened lumbar support
forearms rest comfortably on the writing surface; this aims to help the child develop writing control even at the young age.
Using a Pencil Grip Fit
A pencil grip fit is a tool made of rubber. It helps the child have the accurate grasp of the writing utensil and avoid an awkward pencil grip position.
Choosing the Right Desk for your Child:
In developing the child’s fine motor skills, it is best to:
l have a spacious surface for all the activities. Thus, the L-Shaped Standing Desk E1L can offer you features that support the writing activities.
l The L-Shaped Standing Desk is also suitable for right hander and left hander which is good for children who are either left-handed, right-handed, or ambidextrous ( if the child can use both hands in writing or he doesn’t have a dominant hand)
All in all, every child is a genius and possesses skills that need to be explored and honed. Although, not all children can show those gifts at the young age some discover and develop these skills in later years. So, enjoy guiding your child and witnessing their pro