How to choose the correct pencil grip.
We have over 12 different pencil grips in our shop and without seeing you and how you grip a pencil it is extremely difficult to recommend the right one. The pencil you choose to write with can also make a difference to the way the grip performs. You might try a shorter pencil too as that can sometimes make a difference.
I would suggest purchasing the selection pack of mixed grips that we stock (we’ve priced it to make it the cheapest way to sample all the grips). This will enable you to find the ones that suit you best so that you can buy them in the larger value bags with confidence.
The only two grips not included in the pack are the Grotto grip and the 2-in-1 eraser grip, we were trying to keep the sampler pack costs down hence their exclusion. If the triangular grip in the sampler pack suits you then the 2-in-1 eraser grip will also suit you. If the cross-guard ultra grip from the pack suits you then the grotto grip will also, it has a very slightly different angle to it so might be worth a try. The grotto grip has wider wings to stop your fingers from sliding down and across the pencil and is very good for dyspraxics with a weak grip.
Try the Grotto Grip , Cross-Guard Ultra Grip or C.L.A.W. grip when the pencil is held with the thumb wrapped tightly over the index finger or tucked under, the thumb wrapping limits efficient movements of the thumb and tends to fatigue the muscles in the forearm. Each of these grips will prevent the thumb and index fingers from wrapping over the top. I would also purchase a Twist ‘n Write pencil as it is fantastic at correcting thumb wrap. We have just introduced a NEW grip pack just for thumb wrappers and grip sliders.
Fingers sliding down the pencil resulting in a death-grip?
White finger tips from holding too tightly?
Sometimes this can be easily corrected simply by using the foam Ridged comfort pencil grip (purple in the grip pack picture), the Standard triangular pencil grip (air force blue in the grip pack picture) or the Comfort pencil grip (dark blue in the grip pack picture). They will offer light grip support that may make all the difference whilst your child’s grip strength continues to develop.
Closed web space?
This is the gap between the thumb and index finger where the web is. If this is closed tightly whilst gripping a pencil it will lead to muscle fatigue. I like the large Ultra Pencil Grip for this (the yellow grip photographed in our grip selection pack). If your child has a closed web space and wraps their thumb over the top of the pencil then I would go with the Grotto Grip and Cross-Guard Ultra Grip. I would also buy a Twist ‘n Write pencil as it is fantastic at correcting thumb wrap problems and will open up the web space at the same time.
Can’t hold onto a pencil very well at all?
Try the CLAW pencil grip as this really secures the fingers around the pencil. Again, the Twist ‘n Write pencil will allow the child to write with a push whilst their finger and hand strength develops. Definitely seek medical advice if you haven’t done so already.
If you are purchasing a pencil grip you should also purchase some Crayon Rocks® – why?
Crayon Rocks® are proven to strengthen the tripod grip muscles. They can only be held in a tripod grip and are a huge personal favourite of mine. Used a few minutes every day in wide sweeping strokes, you’ll be amazed how quickly your childs’ grip improves. The end goal for grips and supports is for your child to be able to pick up any pen or pencil to write with. You have to strengthen the muscles in the hands to achieve this, pencil grips will definitely do this, Crayon Rocks® will get you there even faster alongside regular use of your pencil grip.
Pencil Grips are not a solution for everyone. They encourage and support the correct tripod grip and often make writing more comfortable. Other stand-alone pens and pencils also do this including the Twist ‘n write pencil, the Penagain and the Evo.pen – all are incredibly comfortable and effective. Many dyspraxics can struggle with a tripod grip and require a writing tool to achieve legible handwriting, the best of these include the Yoropen pens and pencils, the RinG-Pen and RinG-Pen Ultra. Some may have such poor proprioception that they require the use of a weighted pen or pencil for sensory feedback. If none of the supports seem to help then we would strongly advise you to consult an Occupational Therapist who will assess the writing difficulty professionally.
We understand handwriting can cause huge anxieties, if you are really not sure you can come along and try everything we have by arrangement, just email us: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01572 737100 and we are sure we will find a time that works.
Top tip: If the grip is to be used by a child, make a scratch line where the grip should be, just in case the grip becomes a ‘fiddle fidget’ and moves, the child can then see clearly where it should go back to. You could use stickers for this as well.
The correct writing position:
The pencil should be held about 2.5 to 3 cm from the writing tip, so that there is control over the movement. Slightly lower for tiny hands.
Do you or your child grip the pencil with 4 fingers or more, rather than the traditional 3 used in a dynamic tripod pencil grip?
Please take a peek at our blog on the quad grip, what is it, and should I correct it?