Kindergarten teachers always whisper, “Remind the pre-K teachers to teach their children to hold their pencils correctly.” First grade teachers whisper, “Remind the kindergarten teachers to show their children how to hold their pencils the right way.” And so it goes… I don’t have all the answers, but here are some suggestions that might do the trick.
Give children a pompom or cotton ball to hold in their hand when they write. Demonstrate how to put pinky and ring man to “sleep” on the pompom before picking up the pencil.
Point the pencil away from you. Make a bird’s beak by opening and closing your index finger and thumb. Use your beak to pick up the point of the pencil and then flip it back.
String a bead or jingle bell to a piece of yarn or string to make a bracelet. Make it loose enough so it can slide easily on and off a child’s wrist. While writing the child wears the bracelet and holds the bead in her hand.
Have the child put a silly band or rubber band around their wrist and pick up the pencil. Explain that when you go in the car you have to wear a seatbelt. When you write you have to put a seat belt on the pencil (slide the band around the pencil). Mom and dad are in the front (pointer and thumb) and the kids are in the back (middle, ring, and pinky).
(Tune: “Where Is Thumbkin?” ALL DAY LONG CD)
Where is Pointer?
On the top.
Ready to write.
Start at the top.
Where is Thumbkin?
On the side.
Ready to help
Your pencil glide.
Where is Tallman?
On the bottom.
Keeps the letters
Where you want ‘em.