I love to share easy tricks to work on things like fine motor skills. Working on pencil grasp and the fine motor skills needed for handwriting are two of my favorite ways to build functional skills as an Occupational Therapist. This blog post is a round up of some of the best ways to develop a more functional pencil grasp through fine motor play activities. I’ve updated this resource to include more recent activities that I’ve shared.
Improve Pencil Grasp with Fine Motor Play Ideas
Fine Motor Play Activities to Improve Pencil Grasp
Pencil Grasp Exercises with Play Dough is fun with these mini fluted flower beads. They build a flexed thumb IP joint which is needed for an efficient pencil grasp.
Hand Strengthening Exercises are fun with tongs! They are an easy tool to build so many handwriting skills.
These Craft Stick Tweezers build muscle strength, an open web space, and tripod grasp.
Play Dough Strengthening Mat works on building the intrinsic muscle strength of the hands.
Fine Motor Development with Blocks is a great way to build many skills needed in handwriting.
In Hand Manipulation with Coins can help build skills needed for pencil grasp like manipulating the pencil during letter formation.
Thumb Opposition is an important skill needed for an open thumb web space and functional and efficient grasp on the pencil.
Mini Circles Pencil Control Exercises help with building small motor movements and tripod grasp through improved intrinsic muscle strength.
Finger Isolation with Play Dough helps with minute movements of the hands and individual finger movements in managing the pencil.
Clay Exercises can help strengthen the muscles of the hand for increased endurance of pencil grasp.
Motoric Separation of the Hand is essential for managing the pencil while utilizing the ulnar, stability side of the hand.
Looking for more ways to improve tripod grasp and pencil grasp? Try these activities:
Play Dough (Here’s a GREAT play dough recipe using old crayons.)