Most kids do not need to use a pencil grip. I rarely recommend having a student use a special grip, and when I do recommend it, it means that the grip really does help.
What are the determining factors for needing a pencil grip?
The student is not able to maintain the proper grip on a pencil once placed, and the student’s grip and or writing is improved with a grip. A grip could also reduce fatigue or reduce pain.
So what do I really think about specific grips? Most therapists have their favorite grip, and reasons for what they like and don’t like. I have my own personal opinions of course which are no better or worse than any other opinion.
I will tell you what I feel are the pros and cons to the different grips and I will start with my favorite pencil grip.
My favorite pencil grip is the The Pencil Grip JUMBO . It is a bulb that goes smaller at the finger area and has indentations for the fingers.
- It is large and cushiony
- the size can help maintain the thumb web space
- comfortable any way you hold it
- has leeway for finger position (if you don’t grab it perfectly, it is still comfortable)
- comfortable (did I say that already?)
- I can’t think of any except that it may be too big for some people.
The Pencil Grip. It is the same as the jumbo grip, but smaller.
- PROS and CONS are the same, except that it probably would not be too big, but too small.
Stetro Pencil Grip. A tiny little grip with indentations that your fingers go in.
- If you place your fingers properly, your fingers are placed properly
- I have never met a child that can place or keep their fingers placed properly.
- I find it uncomfortable
The The Pencil Grip Writing CLAW . 3 rubber cups that slips onto a pencil. The index, middle and thumb slip into the cups to be held in position on the pencil.
- Can hold fingers in the right position for writing.
- Uncomfortable for some people to be held in that position (I personally hate the position).
- Very very limited position
HandiWriter Handwriting Tool. A wrist strap that has a charm to hold in the palm, and a loop to go over the pencil top to hold it in position
- Gives stabilization of the pinky side of the hand
- Keeps pencil in the web space.
- Uncomfortable around the wrist
- Feels restrictive to write with the pencil held back.
Grotto Pencil Grips and The Pencil Grip Crossover Grip. Both have rubber that goes over the front of the grip to keep the fingers from crossing in front of the pencil
- Keeps fingers from wrapping over the front of the pencil
- Can feel restrictive and limit needed movement for control
Writing Charms. Toy attached to the pencil to hold in the palm
- Helps stabilize the pinky side of the hand
- leaves only writing fingers available to hold the pencil
- Confuses kids having the toy dangling from the pencil
- Can be distracting
Triangular Pencil Grips. Rubber triangle on a pencil
- Encourages proper finger position
- None that I can think of
Weighted Pencil. Putting a foam padded weight onto a pencil
- Makes kids more aware of the pencil in their hand
- Helps to decrease extra movements in the hand.
- Does not have an effect on finger placement
Egg Ohs! Handwriting Grips . This is a large egg shaped grip
- Very large, so can be useful for students with very weak hands and difficulty grasping.
- Too large for most students
Ishy Sail Pencil Grip. A bulky grip that cradles the thumb and finger to maintain finger joint position.
- very large with support for hyper-mobile joints
- helps fingers stay in a functional position
- even comfortable and functions well when held in an adapted position
- decreases pain in finger joints
- good for weak hands
- May be too big (but comes in 3 sizes)
- since it cradles the joints, you have less movement of the fingers when writing
- the silicone texture makes kids want to chew on it
There are a couple of other grips that I have never tried so I don’t have an opinion on them, but I think this is enough of an opinion to start with anyway.
What is your favorite grip, and why?