How Do I Teach My 4 Year Olds How to Hold a Pencil?

Updated on March 04, 2008
D.O. asks from Arlington, TX
6 answers

I have 4 year old twin boys. They are so smart and they love to color. However, they don't know how to properly hold a pencil, crayon, whatever. We are starting to work on tracing numbers and letters but I'm not sure how to teach them how to properly hold a pencil. I'm sure with age, maturity, & practice it becomes easier. How have you mommies helped your little ones learn this skill?

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Thanks for all of these great ideas! Keep 'em coming!

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answers from Dallas on

I also have a 4 year old boy. He has been holding his pencils, crayons whatever the correct way for over a year now. I have done it by example - showing him how I hold mine or by getting behind him while he sits and help him by putting my fingers over his (which is pretty hard since he is a lefty and I am a righty, but...) and tracing or writing letters with him a few times and then let him do it on his own. Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

Hi D.,

You want him to be using just three fingers on the pencil and he should make an "o" with the shape of his hand when he is holding the pencil. IF a finger is stressed or bent at the knuckle, that is not a good grip. The pencil should relax in the middle part of the "o" (roughly). Look for any tension areas and try to get him to relax. Some ideas were mentioned: breaking crayons or pencils and also use push pins to have him poke holes in paper or card stock while laying on the carpet...the push pin is tiny enough to train him to hold it with only three fingers.


answers from Los Angeles on

The big chunky Kindergarten pencils tend to work better for little fingers. I have also heard to give them tiny pencil stubs or break their crayons in half. Since they are so small, it forces them to hold them the right way. HTH!



answers from Tyler on

Ask them to pinch their pencil. This helped my 3 year old pick it up quickly. I still remind him as he grasps the pencil sometimes. :) Good Luck!

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