How to Hold a Pencil Correctly

How to Hold a Pencil

Grip the Pencil Properly

How to Correctly Hold a Pencil

Children need to learn how to hold the pencil correctly in their hands to be comfortable and easy to use.

Understanding The Hand

The hand consists of three main parts: fingers, thumb, and palm. Each element has its function. For example, the index finger helps us pick up objects while the middle finger helps us hold things we’re writing with. The pinky finger allows us to pinch small items together like buttons. And the thumb helps us grasp more oversized items such as pens and pencils.

Pencil Grip Basics

When you look at your hands, notice that each one contains five digits.

Different Types of Grips

The most common type of grasp used by young students is called an interlocking grip. This involves placing your palm over the top of the pencil with all four fingertips touching each other. Your thumb rests under one edge of the paper while your index finger touches another. You then place the tip of the pencil against the pad of your thumb. When using this method, keep your wrist straight so that there is no pressure on the back of your hand.

Tripod grip

The most common grip used by adults is called the tripod grip. This involves three pinches:

1) thumb and pointer;

2) thumb and pointer plus little finger; and

3) thumb and pointer plus middle finger. When using the tripod grip, the pencil tip rests on the top edge of your palm. If you use too much pressure, then the pencil may slip off your hand.

Quadropod grip

The Quadropod grip is a writing grip that uses all four fingertips to hold the pen or pencil. This grip allows students to use their whole arms while writing.

Tips: Use your dominant hand as much as possible. If you’re right-handed, then try to keep most things written left-handed. Practice at home before teaching in class. Make sure your desk has enough room so that you don’t need to bend over too far. Use the Screener of Handwriting Proficiency to evaluate and assess skills.

How to Hold a Pencil
Man that sitting in front of his computer and doing notices on paper sheets

Gripping A Pencil: How To Write With Proper Grip

A child who has not yet learned to hold a pencil correctly may use one of these grips instead. This type of grip does not allow enough control over the pencil.

Holding a pencil properly requires coordination among all five digits. If your student uses only three fingers, they cannot grasp the pencil firmly enough to keep it steady while writing.

Dynamic tripod

This grip involves using three contact points between your index finger, middle finger, and ring finger.

Your palm rests at against the paper while your wrist remains straight. You keep your elbow slightly bent so that your forearm stays parallel to the ground.

You should be able to comfortably reach any part of the page without moving your arm too much.

If this feels awkward, try resting your palm more firmly on the desk.

Lateral tripod

With this grip, the index finger serves as both a stabilizer and a pivot point. Your middle finger supports the pencil while your ring finger braces against the paper.

Anchor grip

Here, the first three digits form a triangle around the pencil. The thumb rests on top of the pencil, providing stability.

Palm down grip

Like the anchor grip, but the palm presses into the page instead of resting on the pencil.

What Age to Teach Pencil Grip

Pencil grips are learned at different ages depending upon your child’s motor development. If your child has not yet mastered ne motor control, teaching them to hold a pencil correctly may take some time.

However, if they already know how to use their hands properly, learning to grasp a pencil accurately could happen quickly.


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