Strengthen fine motor skills and pencil grasp development for kids- toddlers, preschoolers, and early elementary- with this fun and easy pencil grasp activity!
Pencil grasp isn’t a big deal early on- most toddlers hold crayons or markers in a fist at some point. Some kids naturally progress to some form of a tripod pencil grasp, but some preschoolers and early elementary students find a healthy pencil grasp awkward.
When this happens, handwriting becomes stressful and frustrating for students. Sometimes parents are tempted to give up and not care about pencil grasp. Don’t give up!
Pencil Grasp Development Activity with Cheerios
A healthy pencil grasp means long term joint health and when developed with patience, it will make handwriting less of a chore, because students will have greater control over their writing utensils.
Forcing kids to keep using a pencil grasp they don’t feel comfortable with isn’t going to help. When something isn’t working for your child, it’s okay to take a break!
What is the correct way to hold a pencil?
Here’s a little secret: there isn’t one correct way to hold a pencil. Students need to develop a grip that is comfortable and gives them enough control over the pencil to write legibly. They also need to have a pencil grasp that doesn’t strain their hand.
Many preschoolers and kindergartners who have a pencil grasp that isn’t comfortable or functional just need their fine motor skills strengthened- enter this easy pencil grasp activity!
How to set up and play easy pencil grasp activity
- Gather a blob of playdough, two pieces of dry spaghetti, and a bowl full of Cheerios- no milk!
- Have child begin activity by washing and drying their hands- just in case they decide to eat their hardwork!
- Have your child roll a 4-5 inch ball of playdough (here’s a recipe to make your own!) on the work surface and squish into a blob.
- You or your child can stick two pieces of dry spaghetti into the blob.
- Have students thread the cereal onto the pasta, one Cheerio at a time.
- Encourage the student to continue threading until the dry spaghetti is full. Praise your child when it is!
Note: Snacking is optional, but if your kid likes Cheerios, encouraged. Eat one, thread one, eat one, thread one! Or once the skewer is full, they can remove the Cheerios and eat them!
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- 8 Genius Activities for Teaching Letters
- Best Tips for Teaching Scissor Skills
- The Slap Game: An Energetic Way to Learn!