Do your kids hold their pens/pencils in a really strange way? Don’t get me wrong, the kids can still write neatly but the angle of the pen is wrong, or the fingers are sticking out weirdly, or the placement is just totally not normal. I mean I’ve seen adults who hold their pens differently from me (assuming I’m holding it correctly), but the kids hold them just in a plain wrong way!
I checked online and realised there are at least 6 wrong ways to hold a pencil:
For us, I initially thought they would just get tired and somehow they would hold it correctly. Then I thought, since they are not complaining about their fingers cramping or getting tired, I don’t really need to fix it right? In my naivety, I thought the correct way would just evolve naturally for all kids! How Wrong I was!
Just a couple of weeks ago, Nadine’s teacher called me. She said she observed that Nadine rests her hand (by shaking hand and fingers) after writing three lines! I remember I used to rest my hand after three pages, not three lines. (Remember those Econs Papers?!?!?)
Ahhh that’s when I realised it’s time to invest in those pencil grips. Then a colleague shared with me what her son’s School Principal shared with the parents recently. Apparently, it is increasingly common for kids to have wrong pencil grips now. It was interesting to hear why!
Because the kids are start writing TOO EARLY! Yup, now kids start to learn to write when they are 3. They write A-Z, or numbers 1-9. Then they learn to write their names. All from 3 years old. That’s way too early! Cos their fine motor skills aren’t developed yet, thus their hands do not have the strength to hold the pencil and exert sufficient strength to write. To compensate that lack of strength, the kids hold the pencils with more fingers, or just simply, hold it the wrong way!
Thank God for teachers who make good recommendations! We went to this shop that sells books and materials for special needs kids. And there was a most wonderful selection of pencil grips! If you think Popular sells them, you are wrong. I’ve never seen these pencil grips before!
Before you start thinking what are these strange looking contraptions. This is what I bought! The most Basic: CLAW (or I call it Flower)
This is the most basic, which forces the child to hold the pencil with only a thumb and two fingers. Very comfortable too, accordingly to the kids, and it helps them get their grip right.
Next, I got the regular Pencil Grip Jumbo, which is for Nathan and Nadine. This helps them, or rather forces them, to hold the pencil correctly, without restricting their grip like the Claw.
And for Nicole, who holds her pencil with three fingers and a thumb, we got her this! (sorry I’m not sure what the exact name is!)
Yes they do, and so subtly! I’m almost kicking myself for not getting these grips sooner. Nicole is 11, and her ridiculous way of holding her pencil is already a habit for the last 5-6 years. She was actually the one that i was most concerned with, cos for a P5 girl to have this clumsy looking pen may be quite embarrassing! But thank God for lovely colours and sparklies on the grips! She liked the grips and told me they make writing easier and much more comfortable!
Alas, the grips are not cheap! We got them from Knowledge Tree and unless you buy them in bulk, each piece costs $4-5. Knowledge Tree is at Sunset Way (near Ulu Pandan/Clementi) and they stock very good resources for learning development. Alternatively, you can buy them from Amazon, which is really much cheaper, and if you consolidate your purchases, you get to enjoy the free shipping!
Do drop me a message if you need more information about these grips. I just purchase one bulk of the various grips from Amazon because all my kids are really benefiting from them, and slowly but very surely holding their pencils/pens correctly! Wooohooo!