Good Pencil Grips for Kids

When to use a Pencil Grip

While I believe that pencil grips for kids cannot really improve handwriting on their own, there is a place for using a pencil grip or gripper as part of an overall program to improve a child's handwriting skills.

The aim of a "proper" pencil grasp is to be able to hold and use the pencil in such a way that is not tiring, and enables the child to carry out age-appropriate writing tasks with ease.

When To Give a Child a Pencil Grip

Once a child's fine motor skills have improved through the use of fun activities, I will sometimes make use of a pencil grip to train the fingers to hold the pencil more comfortably. The aim is to get the child to hold the pencil comfortably so the fingers can easily form the letters for smooth handwriting.

These are the factors I consider:

  • When the child has been working on hand and finger dexterity, but the fingers have still not learned to maintain a functional pencil grasp
  • When the pencil gripper prevents fatigue and enables the child to write more easily, and is not distracting or uncomfortable for the child to use.

Back to Top

Write-It-Right Grips

These cute fish pencil grippers are marketed as "skill trainers" as they assist the child in holding the pencil at a more efficient angle, as well as positioning the fingers on the pencil.

They come in 2 sizes (for kids age 3-6, and kids age over 6), which is terrific. They also have grippers specifically for left handed children, which is even more terrific!

For Left Handers
For Right Handers

I like the fact that the child's fingers are so easily placed, and the design of the grip makes it harder for the fingers to "slip out" of position.

The design naturally opens up the space between the thumb and index finger and although it tends to favor the index finger being flexed (whereas I think you get more finger movement when the last index finger joint is neutral or slightly extended), I think these are a great choice of pencil grips for kids.

Small Size
Regular Size

You can get the Write-It-Right Grips on Amazon - this is my affiliate link to the Write-it-Right company's page, as their stock varies from month to month. (I receive a small commission if you buy the grip through my links but you are under no obligation to purchase anything!)

View the Write-it-Right Pencil Grips on Amazon#Ad

Back to Top

"The" Pencil Grip

This was the first really effective pencil grip I used in therapy and was way better than the "stetro" pencil grips for kids which were the standard issue at the time.

Using The Pencil Grip

In the pictures below, the boy had a rather rigid grasp and was not really comfortable with writing tasks. His fine motor skills had already improved from a very dysfunctional pencil grasp, but I wanted to give him the extra boost with a pencil gripper.

He found "The" pencil grip gave him more control over the thin pencil, and he happily used it for a long period after intervention ended. Many children who have used this pencil grip, have commented that it helps their hands feel less tired.

These grippers come in two sizes - regular and Jumbo, so try out both to see which suits your child more. Even adults find them comfortable! You can find these get these pencil grips for kids at PFOT. (This is an affiliate link and I may receive a small commission if you buy the grip through my links!)

Child using a stiff pencil gripHolding the pencil stiffly
A much more comfortable and functional grasp with THE pencil grip!

Back to Top

Grips For A "Wrapped Thumb"

If a child has a "wrapped thumb", where the thumb tends to curl over the top of the pencil and/or the index finger, then the Start Right Grip, or the CrossOver Grip may help.

Some kids find them really comfortable, and they can help alleviate the "death grip" that some kids display on their pencils!

An overlapping or "wrapped" thumb

The pictures below show kids using the Start Right Pencil Grip and the CrossOver Grip (both of which can be seen on my page of selected handwriting resources at PFOT).(This is an affiliate link and I may receive a small commission if you buy the grip through my links!)

Start Right Pencil GripStart Right Pencil Grip
CrossOver Pencil GripCrossOver Pencil Grip

Personally, I do find that these are only effective if given after at least a couple months of hand and finger exercises. Often, these kids need to do a quick fine motor exercise before a handwriting task. Otherwise, their stubborn fingers just curl over the grip!

However, if you have been working on fine motor skills, with your child, and feel that he/she just needs a little reminder to hold the pencil more carefully, then these grips can be very useful. They are relatively inexpensive, so it is worth getting them to try out.

Back to Top

Do Pencil Grips Actually Help?

If you give a pencil grip to kids without working on their fine motor skills, they are likely to just keep using their poor grasp over the pencil gripper! Kids with poor fine motor skills often find pencil grips uncomfortable.

When you think about it, most poor pencil grips are a child's way of compensating for a lack of skills elsewhere. You can read more about the Essential Bases for fine motor development to see if your child needs to work on any other skills first.

However, if you are concerned about your child's pencil grip, or if it is interfering with your child's ability to write neatly and efficiently, please request an occupational therapist evaluation! Pencil grips for kids are NOT a substitute for therapy!

If your child just needs some encouragement and extra exposure to develop a better pencil grip, then try some of the fine motor activities on my site:

Back to Top

Related Pencil Grip Pages

Check out the other pages on my site for more information regarding your child's pencil grasp.

Back to Top

Resources To Help You!

Need some help getting started helping your child with pencil grip issues? Here are a few that may help you:

1) Pencil Grip Download

Do you want all my pencil grip information in an accessible format?

My printable E-Book download gives you all the information contained in my pencil grip pages, with lots of photos and explanations.

This printable resource aims to help by answering common questions that teachers and parents have about how a child should hold a pencil.

I also include a pencil grip checklist to help you analyze your child's pencil grip!

View my Pencil Grip Download now!

2) Fine Motor Download

Do you want practical activities to help develop your child's fine motor skills with everyday resources?

Are you tired of lists of suggestions that don't show you HOW to do the activities?

My Fine Motor Activities download will give you lots of helpful information as well as more than 24 pages of photographed activities to help support your child's fine motor skills!

View my Fine Motor Activities E-Book now!

fine motor activities for kids resource download

3) OT Pencil Grips and Writing Aids

Chosen and tested by therapists, PFOT offer a range of pencil grips and writing aids that may be able to help your child.

Exclusive Offer to OT Mom Readers
Use the coupon code OTmom

and get 15% off your order of $35 or more at PFOT#ad
This is an affiliate link and if you purchase something through my link,
I will earn a small commission which helps to support my site!

4) Visit The Pencil Grip Store on Amazon#Ad

I may receive a small commission if you purchase something through these links, which helps support this site. However, you are under no obligation to purchase anything!
If the images are not showing, your browser may be blocking the image ads, but the links should still work.


I hope this article has helped you! Please sign up for my occasional newsletter to keep in touch with new and updated pages on my site!

Back to Top

If this page was helpful, please share it with your friends!

OT Mom's E-Books - mega motor bundle deal!

Didn't find what you were looking for? Try a search of my site!