Simply stated, a pencil grip is how the hand and fingers are aligned around a writing instrument. It is vitally important that you know that a proper pencil grip must be taught as early as possible. It should be the focus of someone to watch the fine motor finger strength and development of toddlers. If not, the chances of having a 3-point pencil grip would be quite rare.
Between 1 to 1 ½ years old, children begin to scribble with a type of full handgrip with the thumb near the eraser of a pencil. As the child matures, so should the pencil grip. They are simply playing and drawing random marks and scratches. The whole hand cylindrical grip is just fine and normal for that age range. Lots of scribbling will strengthen their hand.
Between about 2 to 3 years old, children (with adult support) begin to develop a digital grip. By the age of 3 ½ to 4, the hand should move toward a modified tripod grip. Helping a child during this stage is crucial. The pencil grip is still under development and can prepare for the final stage of having a 3-point pencil grip between 4 ½ to 7 years old.
Molding a child’s hand into the proper 3-point pencil grip is doable the younger the child is. It is also an important focus in helping a child with handwriting. Make writing fun with pens and pencils with lights, sparkles, and little shapes attached.