Why should I not correct my toddler's pencil grasp?

by Concerned mom

You mention on your website that it's harmful to try to correct a toddler or preschooler's pencil grasp - that is does more harm than good.

Can you please explain that?

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Rather work on their fine motor skills without correcting their grasp!
by: OT Mom


It is really important for your toddler to move through all the developmental stages of holding a pencil. I will put up an article on this in the new year.

But basically, it is inappropriate to make a 3 year old hold the pencil the way a Grade 1 child does (ie with a "correct 3 point" pencil grip). They really need to hold the pencil with their whole hand, because that is what they are developmentally ready for. And they need lots of practice at the different stages.

You would not expect your toddler to walk and run and skip like a 6 year old, so why expect your toddler to hold a pencil like a 6-year old?

Usually, given normal play and development opportunities (lots of preparatory skills like cutting etc), by the time your child is 5-6 years old, he/she will have the correct pencil grip needed for handwriting. But if we force the "correct grip" before the muscles are developmentally ready to control the pencil in that way, we run the risk of awkward pencil grasps.

If you are concerned about your child's fine motor development, rather try lots of playdough activities and other hand exercises, and you should find that pencil control develops normally.

Hope this helps!

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