Handwriting: Tools of the Trade - crazyJCgirl.com

Handwriting: Tools of the Trade

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.

This article is by Mama Sez, because Crazy JC Girl simply doesn’t remember a lot of this stuff since she was so young. She does, however, want to share part of her journey and struggles if it will help others.

Toddler Tools

Some of the best hand-strengthening and pre-writing activities your little one can do is to play with playdough, scribble, or color. These Bingo Dot Markers were some of Crazy JC Girl’s earliest coloring tools. I remember hers had glitter and smelled wonderful. These are washable which is a must when toddlers start to draw. Just remember to watch your walls, furniture, & carpet for any unnecessary artwork.

We were also big fans of Crayola’s Color Wonder markers & finger paints. I loved how they didn’t show up all over my house. What I didn’t like was how over a period of time the art/paper would “bleed” or “fade.” Keepsakes from this time period look a little weird.

On recommendation from our OT were these egg-shaped crayons & chalk. They were a big hit in our house. Teach your child to place the “fat end” of the egg into the palm of their hand with their fingers grasping down the sides. They will draw with the “pointy tip” of the egg.

Crazy JC Girl then graduated to “Finger Crayons/Palm Grip Crayons.” We used them the exact same way the egg crayons ….with her palms. It’s just that the “fat end” is smaller than the egg requiring a tighter/smaller grip for more control.

Next Level Tools

Now onto teaching your child how to do a traditional pencil grip. Try using these large triangular markers first, since they will glide across the paper easier than a pencil. I noticed that when Crazy JC Girl first used a pencil she pushed down on the paper so strongly, her pencil barely moved. Switching to markers solved the tears in the paper problem, as well as tears in her eyes. You will still need to show your little one how to properly place their thumb and fingers on the marker.

Then move on to Jumbo/Fat Triangular pencils & crayons.

Pencil Grips

Since Crazy JC Girl had a hard time learning to hold her pencil correctly, the OT had her use a finger grip called “The Claw.” It has 3 pockets: one for the thumb and two for the index & middle fingers. I had to “place” Crazy JC Girl’s fingers in the pockets each and every time she picked up the pencil, until she finally learned to do it herself. However, it did teach her the proper position until it finally became muscle memory. I do remember her hands sweating, so you may want to consider the newer ventilated model.

Rocks in My Dryer has a post showing the same tip our OT taught Crazy JC Girl. Take a tissue and hold it in your pinkie & ring finger. See the post for pictures showing the proper way to hold your pencil.

Next Level Up Tools

Once your child can control their Jumbo Triangular pencils, you will eventually want to downsize to thinner regular-sized triangular pencils & markers. This will again will require practice since your child is using a smaller / tighter grasp.

Your child may appreciate using regular pencil grips for comfort. Crazy JC Girl likes the spongy ones, not the gel ones. This variety pack shown below has a nice assortment for the entire family.

I hope this info helps you. I am not a therapist or medical professional. I’m just sharing what worked for our family. If you child continues to struggle, I would strongly suggest a referral for Occupational Therapy from your Pediatrician.

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.

Handwriting - Tools - Crayons - Chalk - Pencils - Grips - Markers - Fine Motor Skills - Eye/Hand Coordination - Upper Body Strength