Developing a Pencil Grip

Pencil grip is a component of handwriting. Sometimes children don’t naturally develop a pencil grip that is comfortable for them nor allows them to develop writing skills. A good seating position is also essential for handwriting. There are ways to help encourage your child to hold their pencil in a way that allows them to write and draw.

General guidelines include:

  • Hold the pencil in a stable position between the thumb, index and middle fingers
  • Place the ring and little fingers bent and resting on the table.
  • The index finger and thumb form an open space
  • The wrist is bent back slightly and the forearm rests on the table
  • The pencil is held about 1-2cm from the tip.
  • Below are some examples of an appropriate pencil grip and seated position for writing.

Helpful Strategies

  • Show your child the correct finger and thumb position and help them place their fingers and thumb in these positions
  • Try a pencil grip that you can purchase from any stationary shop. The school also have access to many types of grips, ask Courtney.
  • Encourage your child to practice for a few minutes each day until it becomes automatic.
  • Encourage your child to do lots of fun and interesting writing and drawing activities with different pencils, textas, crayons and chalk to help keep them motivated.


Courtney Simpson
Occupational Therapist