28 September 2009

How to teach a child to hold a pencil correctly

I never knew there is a correct way to hold a pencil until I brought Werney to consult the psychiatrist recently on her school phobia and separation anxiety.

At the psychiatrist clinic, the Dr. pointed out that Werney is not holding the pencil the correct way. Werney uses four fingers to hold a pencil where the pencil will be resting on her ring finger, leaving only her little finger free. I have always thought that every child is different and didn't try to correct Werney on her pencil holding method. I am also surprised that such important skill is not taught in our preschool, where a child first learns to hold a pencil.

The Dr. pointed out that by holding a pencil the wrong way, it will slow down the handwriting skill of a child and making the hand tired easily. According to the Dr. it is like using a "parang" to cut an apple! Furthermore, a correct pencil grip will reduce future health risk associated to the hand and wrist, such as carpal tunnel syndrome!

Th Dr. demonstrated the right way to hold a pencil is to have all three fingers (thumb, index and middle finger) to be placed on each side each of a triangle-shaped pencil. No wonder some colour pencils or crayons available in the market are shaped in triangle and not round or square! I never knew there is a reason for it.

Triangular shaped pencil to assist young children to learn the pencil grip

I did googled and found that the right way to hold a pencil is called a Tripod Grip. The pencil should be placed so that there is equal pressure between thumb, the side of the middle finger and the tip of the index finger. All finger are bent slightly. See picture below for illustration:-

Other method to encourage your child to have a correct pencil grip is get a triangular shaped pencil, paint each side with a different colour (e.g blue, red and green) and place one colour sticker (blue, red and green) each on the thumb, index and middle finger or nail. This will helps the child to remember the correct grip by matching the colour of the sticker on each finger (thumb, index and middle finger) to the side of the pencil.

I also found another article from Rocks In My Dryer - Works For Me: Teaching a Child To Hold a Pencil and the tip is great. For more information, please click here.

The Dr. has suggested that I bring Werney to consult an occupational therapist to correct her pencil grip. The Dr. assured this is something that could be corrected easily. I will try out the above methods with Werney first and if it doesn't work, then I will arrange an appointment with the occupational therapist.


mommy to chumsy said...

thanks for sharing this. i will pay more attention to ashley's way of holding the pencil :) so how is Werney now? is that reason for her phobia? difficulty in writing?

littlemama said...

congrats, your baby won duit raya (extra gift) in MBP Cutest Baby Contest with Bottle


Blog's author said...

Hi Mommy to Chumsy....werney still refuses school *sigh* but the dr. said it is okay to leave her alone for a while first. i don't think the writing skill is something that scare her off from school though.

Hi Little Mama....thanks for dropping by. Am so excited that Anney won the duit raya for MBP Cutest Baby with Bottle contest!

Shenny's mommy said...

Really thanks for sharing this valueable info.

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