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Janeway

Fist grip for handwriting, 4 yrs old, and left handed?

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Son just turned 4 years old. He is using a fist grip. He is writing words, but using a fist grip. I know that writing words at 4 yrs old is not expected. But I am concerned that the first grip is a problem.  Shouldn't he have switched to tripod grip by now? Also, he is writing with his left hand. No one is left handed in my family. 

Edited by Janeway

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I was the only left handed person in my family for 3 generations. Then about 10 years later one of my cousins was born and turned out to be left handed too. But we are the only left handed people for 3 generations.

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My just-turned-5yr old still instinctively picks up his pencil with a first grip (though he's a righty). We have been working on how to hold a pencil correctly for writing and he can, when prompted, change his grip to tripod. 

I have had him working with small beads & pipe cleaners, lacing cards, and tweezers & cotton balls for developing hand/finger strength and pincher grip. I also bought him these pencils (I also bought a left-handed set for my lefty DS7). I bought this book, and will use it through his kindergarten year next year, until his grip is automatic.

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In my experience, raising 6 kids past the age of learning to write and remediating many other people's children who came to me with writing problems, a tripod grip does not just happen for most kids especially if they have developed a less than ideal grip. It has to be taught the same way you teach a child to hold a fork, spoon or knife correctly. It is much easier to gently correct them from the time the are old enough to pick up a spoon or a fork or a pencil but it can be corrected for an older child.

I would try to make as many of his writing utensils as I could either triangular shaped or put tripod grippers on them. Make several different types of grips available so that he might take a liking to one of them. (I'll try to link some of the grips I've found most effective for remediating later. I can't seem to make links work from my phone) You can also gently correct his grip and encourage him to write that way. Praise like crazy when you see him using the tripod grip to try and write, even if his first attempts are less legible than the words written with a fist grip.

I wouldnt force him to use a tripod grip from now on but each time he writes, remind him to try and write like big boys do and hold the pencil properly. It may take months of reminding him but in my experience the fist grip is one of the easier grips to correct as long as there is nothing physically wrong causing them to use that grip and it is just a preference they have developed. If fine motor is lagging as well (can he play with legos or other toys with small pieces?) then it might take a little long but just be sure to offer lots of fine motor activites as well as gentle correction on the pencil grip and he will get there.

ETA: Wrist band type grip correctors really help with fist grip kids. Like this: HandiWriter but you can make one yourself with a large rubber band.

The handle style grippers also seem to work well for a fist grip.

Once they get used to holding the pencil correctly, they can graduate to this style gripper or some kids may prefer it from the start. 

 

Edited by sweet2ndchance
Long day and posting from a phone

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13 hours ago, Janeway said:

Son just turned 4 years old. He is using a fist grip. He is writing words, but using a fist grip. I know that writing words at 4 yrs old is not expected. But I am concerned that the first grip is a problem.  Shouldn't he have switched to tripod grip by now? Also, he is writing with his left hand. No one is left handed in my family. 

Have you [gently] shown him how to correctly hold his pencil, and [gently] corrected his grip, each and every time he picks up a pencil? (or crayon, or even his fork, because we hold our eating implements pretty much the way we hold our writing implements) I don't believe children will automatically switch to a tripod grip; I believe they need instruction.

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Crayon rocks are amazing for this. They force a tripod grip without reminding because it's really the only way to hold them. They're pricey, but maybe worth it?

Or you can make your own by melting crayons and using a mold for soap or candy or something.

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8 hours ago, Kiara.I said:

Crayon rocks are amazing for this. They force a tripod grip without reminding because it's really the only way to hold them. They're pricey, but maybe worth it?

Or you can make your own by melting crayons and using a mold for soap or candy or something.

I have tons and tons of spare crayons I never know what to do with. Do you think I could do this in a microwave? I might be able to find an old ice cube container.

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On 5/17/2019 at 7:33 AM, Janeway said:

I have tons and tons of spare crayons I never know what to do with. Do you think I could do this in a microwave? I might be able to find an old ice cube container.

Probably!

I haven't tried. And I do know that my mom's friends used to melt then down in a pan on her stovetop and they caught fire once, so... Use caution!

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On 5/16/2019 at 12:42 PM, Noreen Claire said:

My just-turned-5yr old still instinctively picks up his pencil with a first grip (though he's a righty). We have been working on how to hold a pencil correctly for writing and he can, when prompted, change his grip to tripod. 

I have had him working with small beads & pipe cleaners, lacing cards, and tweezers & cotton balls for developing hand/finger strength and pincher grip. I also bought him these pencils (I also bought a left-handed set for my lefty DS7). I bought this book, and will use it through his kindergarten year next year, until his grip is automatic.

 

The links for "these pencils" and "this book" didn't come through. Could you re-post them, please?

Edited by jboo

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1 hour ago, jboo said:

 

The links for "these pencils" and "this book" didn't come through. Could you re-post them, please?

Gah! Sorry.

Pencils: STABILO Easygraph Handwriting Pencils - HB - Left Handed - Light Blue Barrel - Pack of 2 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HB4SKDM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_tZx5Cb0NHA3BA

Book: Activities for Fine Motor Skills Development Grades PreK-1 https://www.amazon.com/dp/0743936892/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_K2x5CbPM15QEB

 

 

Edited by Noreen Claire
wrong book!
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