At the beginning of every kindergarten year, I have at least one child who fists their pencil. Here is my favourite way, in 5 simple steps, to teach most children how to hold their pencil with a proper tripod grasp.
1. Make an elastic pencil holder (as you can see, I made this one out of a black and a blue hair elastic, a big star bead and a small zip tie).
2. Have the child slide their dominant hand through the black elastic.
3. Have the child hold the bead with their middle, ring and pinky fingers. This gives these fingers something to do and gets them out of the way.
4. The thumb and pointer finger become “pinchers” to hold the pencil. I find using a Start Right pencil grip, makes “pinching” easier at first and stops the thumb and pointer from wrapping too far around the pencil.
5. For most pencil fisters (or students who use too many fingers to stabilize their pencil), the pencil will often lean forward when they try using only their thumb and pointer to hold it. To fix this, simply thread the un-sharpened end of the pencil through the small loop you created in the black elastic. The pencil will be tilted back and held in the web space between the thumb and pointer.
Do you have a different tried, tested and true way of teaching your students proper pencil grasp? If so, I’d love to hear about it.