Activities to promote pencil grasp
This blog talks about activities to promote pencil grasp. Pencil grasp is an important requirement for writing activities.
What is pencil grasp ?
Pencil grasp refers to the grip where the thumb, index finger and middle finger hold the pencil. It is also referred to as the tripod grasp. It usually develops by the age of 5 – 6 years.
A functional pencil grasp would be one that helps a child to –
move the fingers since they are better at controlling the pencil
finish the writing work without getting tired
also, complete the writing work neatly
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Signs of poor pencil grasp
The following signs may indicate that the child’s pencil grasp is poor –
The child may report pain in hand or arm when doing writing work.
The child feels tired when given writing work. This may also lead to the child not being able to finish the writing work.
Work maybe untidy. Handwriting maybe poor.
Child may control the pencil with wrist or arm instead of fingers
Activities to promote pencil grasp
Listed below are a few activities to promote pencil grasp –
Activity 1 – Play dough
Children absolutely love playing with play dough. Play dough provide immense possibilities for manipulation with fingers. This in turn leads to improving the pencil grasp. A few activities that can be done with play dough are finding hidden treasure inside the play dough. These can include small beads, buttons. Make different shapes with it. Squeeze and roll it with the palm.
Activity 2 – Bead me
Beads help in developing eye – hand coordination. They also greatly promote better pencil grasp. The smaller the bead, the harder the task becomes. Firstly, take a thread or yarn. Secondly, take some colorful beads. Now, ask the child to put the beads one at a time into the yarn. This will greatly enhance their pencil grasp.
Activity 3 – Puzzles
Puzzles are a great way to practice finger movements. Also, they enhance the child’s problem solving skills and ability to think. Get started with puzzles right away!
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Activity 4 – Puppets
Children love puppets. Grab some hand puppets or finger puppets. Ask the child to use these puppets to say a story. They can also talk to the puppets. These involve the movement of fingers. This in turn promotes better pencil grasp. Not only this, they also enhance the child’s expressive skills and imagination.
Activity 5 – Squirt bottles
Squirt bottles are perfect for developing pencil grasp. Firstly, fill the squirt bottle with water. Secondly, give the child the bottle. Now ask him to water the plants with it.
Activity 6 – Sponges
This activity is fun yet useful. Firstly, cut up the sponge into small bits. Secondly, take a container filled with water. Thirdly, take an empty container. Now ask the child to dip the sponge in the water bowl. Then ask him to squeeze out the water from the sponge into the empty container. This greatly enhances the small muscles in the fingers. This in turn promotes better pencil grasp.
Activity 7 – Pom pom
Pompoms are bright and colorful. This attracts the attention of the child. Ask the child to separate the pompoms according to colors. The child may use his fingers for the same. Tweezers, clothes pins or pegs may also be used for the same. This activity enhances the small muscles of the fingers.
Activity 8 – Zipping
Ask the child to zip up the bag. This is a good activity for the fingers. Jackets can also be used to practice zipping.
Activity 9 – Lacing
This activity not only develops pencil grasp. It also enhances bilateral coordination. Take a cardboard stencil and ask the child to lace the same. Use laces of different colors. This will keep up the child’s interest.
Activity 10 – Blocks
Give the child blocks of different colors, shapes and sizes. Encourage them to grasp the blocks. Also ask them to use the blocks to build something. This will enhance their pencil grasp.
Activity 11 – Stickers
Stickers greatly improve pencil grasp. They also enhance eye – hand coordination. Ask the child to peel the stickers and stick them on a paper. You can also ask them to make patterns with the stickers. Children will enjoy this activity greatly.
Activity 12 – Hand manipulation
Give small objects to your child to manipulate. These can include coins, erasers. Crayons or pencils can also be used. Ask the child to explore them using their fingers. They can also move their fingers up and down over the object. They can also rotate the object between their fingers.
These activities are easy and fun. They will help your child improve their pencil grasp to a great extent. Try the above activities with your child right away!
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