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A proper pencil grasp serves to hold and use the pencil in a way that is not tiring and helps the child to carry out writing tasks that are age-appropriate easily. When the child develops a pencil grasp that may not be suitable, there may be a need for help in the form of activities or tools for correction. The tools like pencil gripper also help the child to grasp the pencil in the right way.
So what exactly is a pencil gripper?
Pencil Grips are small impermanent attachments that fit onto a pencil. They help a child or adult have a functional and accurate grasp of a pencil. When used correctly, a Pencil Grip can help develop fine motor skills and control over handwriting. Pencil Grips are made with foam, silicone, or molded rubber. The pencil grip has helped with the writing ability of not only children but adults too!
Pencil grippers for pre-schoolers: How do they help?
While there might be a lot of kids who might not require a pencil gripper, at the same time, many children need this tool to maintain a proper grip as it improves the ability of the child to grasp the knack to write. Moreover, a gripper is designed in a way to reduce fatigue or pain. Apart from this, it enables the kids to hold the pencils in a much more comfortable manner.
The aim is to get the child to hold the pencil comfortably so the fingers can easily form the letters for smooth handwriting.
In a research conducted for the designing of a pencil gripper, the following observations were made, which suggested how pencil grippers may help the child to write better.
Two key factors found to have high relevance to handwriting grasps among children were clear thumb to index positioning and better force distribution in hand. Therefore, in the writing tool design, holding force should be distributed among different fingers or other hand parts e.g. palm. A pencil gripper should have such a design that it ensures correct thumb-to-index positioning. These factors contribute largely to improvement in writing among children.
The pencil gripper helps create new motor patterns for children, which may become their habit over time, thus ensuring a comfortable writing pattern.
It also helps children learn to use small movements with their fingers to control the pencil enhancing fine motor control.
Pencil grippers for preschoolers: Which one to go for?
Let us look at some pencil grippers that we can consider for developing a favorable grasp while writing.
1. Pencil grip universal pencil gripper
These colorful grippers are ergonomically designed and are a ‘one size fits all. So this gripper can be used by a preschooler too. The gripper is designed for right, and left-handed people and easily fits into pencils, crayons, felt pens, and markers. It can later be used to provide comfort while writing if placed permanently.
These colorful pencil grippers guide the hand into the tripod writing position. The grippers relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve comfort. These grips feel natural due to the ergonomic design and are soft, flexible, and made of latex-free material. It is available in a pack of six colorful grippers.
2. Step-by-step grippers
Writing tools build coordination, a skill that is useful for writing. These are a set of two grips that facilitate the transition from one stage of writing to the other.
Stage 1 grip – This has a ring on the back that guides the middle finger to the right position to fix the grip. The structure that holds the thumb and index helps the transition to the next stage.
Stage 2 grip- This grip is used when the child is comfortable with Stage 1. It frees the middle finger and reinforces the index and thumb more comfortably.
The step-by-step gripper is available in sets of two. Three pieces each of stages 1 and 2.
3. Pinch grip
The pinch grip provides comfort and control for the child while writing. This is a transitional grip, and it bridges the gap between more structured grips and those that provide freedom. It aids the development of proper writing techniques and gives more control. It has depressed areas where the fingers have to be placed while writing.
Made with a latex-free material, it feels comfortable to use. The gripper encourages the fingers and hand to rest in the proper position for gripping.
4. Gel pencil grips
These colorful slim pencil grippers are designed to fit a regular pencil but are a little stretchy and, therefore, could be used on a crayon too. They are translucent and are available in bright colors that can attract kids.
The gel grippers have designs like dots, ribs, and stripes on the outer surface that enhance the child’s grip. These grippers are squishy and offer comfort to the fingers. They may be useful to the child who seeks freedom of grip as the gel gripper doesn’t guide the fingers into any particular position. The grip is suitable for left-handed and right-handed individuals.
5. The foam egg grips
The soft foam construction provides comfort and added grip. It relieves pain, discomfort, and fatigue that may accompany prolonged writing. The egg grips are suitable for anyone who wants a comfortable writing experience. It is a good choice for kids who are just learning to write and are getting familiar with a pencil or crayon as it allows freedom of grip. It may be helpful for those with painful hand conditions like arthritis or carpel tunnel syndrome among adults.
The bright colors make them fun for kids.
6. Triangle pencil grips
These pencil grips can be used in classrooms, at home, and as a part of therapeutic requirements. The grippers serve as a training tool and then can be permanently for added comfort. These classic triangle hand grips are one of the oldest and most well-known grip styles. The triangle grip is a true ergonomic writing aid that makes writing easy and natural.
A comfortable hand has more control and shows improved handwriting. These colorful grips guide the hand into an ergonomic position.
7. Foam pencil grips of 11 rings
These pencil grips are soft on the fingers and offer comfort. They are made of Nitrile Rubber, which is oil resistant, aging resistant, and stable in air at 120℃, rendering the foam cushion material durable and non-toxic.
The pencil grip insulates the child’s finger from the pencil, therefore increasing the contact area of the fingers, and making it feel lighter and more flexible.
Each pen grip has 10 grooves between the 11 rings, and the foam material absorbs sweat well, which prevents the pencil from slipping. Adding 1 or 2 drops of water will make it easier to cover for some kinds of pencils.
8. The pencil grip writing claw
The Writing claw is designed for proper grip development. With The Writing claw, the mechanics of a correct grip is ensured. The gripper is ergonomic in design and fits pens, pencils and crayons, and paint brushes and therefore has a wide range of use. The grip cultivates a habit of an efficient grip which results in improved handwriting pattern and control.
This gripper can be used by right-handed and left-handed children alike. The grips have markings on the underside of the ‘finger cup’ like structures to ensure proper placement. The design of the tool appears like a claw and hence the name. They are soft, and flexible and are made from latex-free material.
A Sampler pack of the writing claw contains two each of three grips, small, medium & large.
The small grips are for pre-schoolers, the medium grips are for kindergarten to 5th grade and the large grips fit 5th grade + children.
9. Spiky pencil grips
These pencil grippers are designed to help relieve callouses, sores, or discomfort in the fingers that may have resulted due to unfavorable writing grips.
The gripper is made of a soft material that makes it easy to use. The spikes on the outer surface aid in a proper grip and helps avoid slipping of the pencil due to sweaty hands.
The pencil grips fit standard pencils, pens, and crayons to improve control and comfort while writing or drawing. The grips slip over the ends of pencils and pens easily and can be removed for continued use.
The simple design and vibrant colors make it attractive. Suitable for right-handed and left-handed children too, the gripper provides for freedom to choose a suitable grip.
10. Long Foam Pencil Grips
These foam grippers are different from the others as they are longer and cover more of the pencil. There is a slight curve in the structure that helps the proper placement of the child’s fingers to result in a favorable grasp.
As they are made of foam they are easy to insert and remove. The simplicity of design, the material, and the vivid colors make it attractive to the preschooler.
The grippers relieve the stress and pain that may be a result of prolonged writing.
Putting it all together, it would not be wrong to say that a writing tool can be a fun element and also make the process of writing less stressful for a preschooler. A preschooler is a child who has probably been recently introduced to writing and therefore may find the activity boring and cumbersome.
These colorful pencil grippers will create interest and help the child enjoy the new skill that is being introduced. The grippers also guide the child into a more comfortable and favorable grip on the pencil.
Neat handwriting is the result of lots of practice during the beginner phase. A young child will indulge in the activity only if it is made interesting and fun. Introducing a pencil gripper may just add that excitement to the preschoolers writing tasks.