Learning how to properly hold a pencil is an important life skill, but it’s also not particularly intuitive, especially as the size of a young child’s hand seems so disproportionate when compared to the length of a fresh pencil. It’s tempting for them to wrap their whole fist around the thing or attempt to wield it by holding it too high up, neither of which are methods we want to encourage. But one kindergarten teacher has a trick you can do at home to help coax their fingers into the correct position.
There are all kinds of different grippers you can buy online to slip onto their pencil to help them learn to hold it properly, but instead, you can use something you probably already have around your home: a clothespin. As @.itsamaddoglife shows us on TikTok:
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This seemed like a clever way to give those little hands some extra leverage and control over the pencil, while also giving the three resting fingers a designated spot to hang out. I tried it out for myself, however, and found that pinching the clothespin as she shows doesn’t quite get their fingers into the correct position if you want them to really get a feel for holding the pencil.
Instead, I prefer this slight variation from Resources 4 Learning on YouTube:
In this version, the clothespin is giving the child something to cling to, but he’s still practicing gripping the actual pencil itself (and we get to see him use the method to write his name).
Either way, once they build a little muscle memory into their pencil-holding grip, you can take the clothespin off and let them write on their own.