Your Guide To Pencil Grasp Development

30 January, 2015
A pencil grasp is one component of handwriting. Children move through various stages of grasp which is important for overall development.

What is the pencil grasp?

Children usually develop a comfortable grasp (between 4-6 years old) that allows the hands and fingers to move freely and easily when writing and drawing.

If a child does not progress through the stages of pencil grasp development a referral to an Occupational therapist may be necessary. A pencil grasp is also a concern if the child has difficulty completing legible handwriting at a reasonable speed or they experience a sore or tired hand. Poor pencil grasp can be the result of many underlying factors such as joint hypermobility, weakness in fingers and hands and a lack of motivation to participate in pencil paper activities at a younger age.

How does Occupational Therapy assist with the pencil grasp?

If you or their classroom teacher has concerns regarding your child’s pencil grasp an Occupational Therapy assessment is recommended. This assessment would use informal and formal assessments and observations to determine the therapy goals. Occupational Therapy sessions may involve activities to help strengthen the muscles of the hand and to encourage correct pinch grasp across a variety of activities and games. To correct dysfunctional pencil grips there are a variety of pencil grips and other strategies available that may help.

How can you help develop your child’s pencil grasp?

To help your child develop a mature pencil grasp various activities such as practicing pinching pegs and picking up objects with tweezers will help develop the muscles necessary to hold a pencil properly. Provide your child with plenty of opportunities to scribble, paint and explore with different writing implements.
By Debbie Evans

Executive Director

Subscribe to Therapies for Kids

Receive our news, helpful guides and special announcements directly to your inbox.

More Reading

Sensory Spaces To Help Regulate Your Child’s Emotions

Sensory spaces are areas to help a child regulate their emotions and behaviours – this blog will help you understand the different sensory needs and how you can recreate a DIY sensory space at home.

Toe Walking

Toe walking is when a child is unable to make heel contact during the walking cycle, and stays on their toes. This blog walks you through the conditions associated with toe walking, when you should get your child assessed and what treatment involves.
young girl in speech therapy session

Speech Sound Disorders – Articulation and Phonological Processes

How can you tell if your child has a speech sound disorder? Find out the signs of articulation and phonological disorders in this blog. Read on!

Please type in your search query below: