I was going to write about Caspar being a reluctant reader (and writer) but I think I'll leave that for another day. My last post received some comments about pencil grip and I think it's a topic and a discussion that needs it's own post.
Ever since Caspar began holding a pencil I've been concerned about his grip. He used to hold a pencil, crayon or marker by wrapping his entire hand around it and moving his whole arm to make a mark. I wrote about my concerns in this post when he was three. As I discovered triangular crayons and triangular pencils help - a lot.
As you can see above, Caspar does not have a perfect grip. As you can see below he is capable of a more relaxed and efficient grip but it doesn't come naturally to him.
So what do I do with my concerns? Before Caspar turned three I sought advice from a Montessori teacher. At that young age the advice was to relax, you want your child to enjoy drawing and possibly writing, you don't want them to feel self-conscious or worried that they aren't holding the pencil right. Use role modelling, write with your child, use a correct grip yourself! I am also left handed and hold my pen in many different ways. When I am writing with or around Caspar I concentrate so I can show him the correct grip. Children absorb things like that! The advice I've received at every parent teacher interview since is that you want your child to enjoy writing - don't correct him.
My advice to others concerned about their child's pencil grip is the same. The priority must be on the child enjoying the experience, enjoying learning. However I would suggest trying some triangular crayons or triangular pencils and if your child is in a class, seek the advice of the teacher (or Directress!) who knows your child best.
Today Otis received his own set of pencils. He's using the Lyra Ferby which are a rounded triangular shape and are the perfect 'first' pencils.
I'm not sure if there is one correct grip but I use this picture below from The Write Start as a guide.
If you are a teacher or a parent with similar concerns, I'd love to hear your thoughts or advice.
Edited to add that all activities that encourage the pincer grip prepare the hand for writing. There are also many activities that are encouraged to strengthen the hand (such as using clay, playdough or using scissors).