It’s natural for children to hold the pencil at most comfortable and easiest way, but if we want to avoid difficulties with writing in school age, such as pain in the hand, the strong pencil pressure, and early fatigue, which all leads to that a child writes slower than peers and, therefore, more difficult to follow school class. So it is important that a child learn how to properly hold a pencil.
The correct way to hold a pencil is with dynamic tripod grasp. The child holds a pencil with the fingertips of three fingers, thumb, index finger and middle finger. The arch between the index finger and thumb is open. Index finger and thumb are opposite to each other. Holding the pen with the fingertips, get more freedom to move the pen. Ring finger and little finger are bent into a fist, so they stabilize the wrist. The wrist is straight. When you write, a pencil is 1-2 cm above the paper (Images 1 and 2). Pencil grip develops at age 4.5 to 6 years.
Image 1. Pencil grip – left hand
Image 2. Pencil grip- right hand
When a child sits at the table, it is important to pay attention to body posture. If fingers could move freely and correctly, it is important to strengthen the muscles that maintain a posture of the body and muscles of the torso and shoulders. Children whose postural muscles are weak, they have problems with writing. Therefore, as much as possible during the day, the child should perform activities that strengthen muscle groups listed above. When the child performs the activity at the table, we have to pay attention to the height of the desk and the chair in which the child is sitting. The table is at a good level if when the child is sitting in a chair, can freely pass the forearm on a table, without having to raise his shoulders. The feet should be resting on the floor (Image 3).
Image 3. Body posture
If you note that small objects are falling out of a child’s hand, or you can say that a child is clumsy, a child may have a problem with tactile perception and the brain does not recognize and does not process the right way information coming from the arm nerves. It is necessary to perform activities for the development of tactile perception.
If we want our child to properly develop fine motor skills, we must encourage him to perform activities that strengthen the muscles of the hand and fingers, and work together to harmonize these muscles or coordinate them. If the muscles of the hands and fingers are weak, the child has difficulties with motor skills, and it is necessary to perform exercises to strengthen these muscle groups, and one of the exercises scissor cutting.
As the child holds a paper with one hand and writes with the other, it is important to practice the skill of bilateral coordination. It is the ability of the two sides of the body work together in the same activity. The role of bilateral coordination found in fine motor activities such as string beads on a thread, tying shoelaces, use a knife and fork, cutting paper where one hand holds the paper and the other one cut with scissors or holding a ruler with one hand while with the other hand draw the line
When a child writes pay attention to the position of a paper. The paper is positioned in the same direction as the wrist (Images 4 and 5).