Video: Handwriting aids for children
Occupational Paediatric Therapist Catherine Elsey from the National Handwriting Association explains how writing slopes and adaptive grips can be used successful at home in our handwriting advice video.
How a handwriting aid could improve your child's handwriting
Learning to write quickly, neatly and comfortably is a slow process, and some children need a little help along the way. For children who are struggling to master a good pencil grasp, or find it difficult to get their body into the right posture for handwriting, a handwriting aid could be a real help. If you think your child would benefit from using a handwriting aid, it's a good idea to speak to their teacher before you invest - they may have recommendations of what to buy, or even have their own supplies for your child to try out.
These allow children to position their paper at the optimum angle for writing (20 degrees). They help children to adopt a more upright posture with their body shifted back in the chair, rather than slumped over the page, and help them to keep their wrist, elbow and shoulder stable, giving them better control of their pencil and a more comfortable writing experience. They also help children to be more organised in their work space, instead of spreading out all over the table!
There's a huge range of pencil grips on the market, from simple soft foam tubes that slide over the pencil to make it more comfortable to hold, to elaborately shaped contraptions that help children position their fingers correctly on the pencil. All of them help to encourage children to master the dynamic tripod grasp that is recommended for handwriting, with the thumb, forefinger and middle finger controlling the pencil, and the ring and little finger tucked in. Finding the grip that best suits your child is likely to be a matter of trial and error. You can also buy many types of ergonomic pen and pencil which are themselves shaped to improve your child's pencil grasp.