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Handwriting Helpers

Handwriting at times can be difficult, especially if you’re having trouble holding your writing utensil appropriately. A functional pencil grasp is important for handwriting speed and legibility. Thankfully there are a wide variety of tools that can help improve you or your child’s pencil grasp!

  • Butter Grip- helps prevent joint hyperextension during writing tasks which can cause pain and hand fatigue.

  • Elephant Grip- This grip has a handy loop for middle finger positioning.

  • CLAW Grip- The index, middle finger, and thumb are placed inside the “cups” for a neat tripod pencil grasp.

  • Triangle Grip- has 3 distinct sides. The index, middle finger and thumb each have their own side to hold on to.

  • Jumbo Grip- like the name indicates, this is a large gripper that is ergonomic and promotes a tripod grasp while helping to prevent hand fatigue.

  • Pencil weights- small weights that can be added to a pencil to promote control of motor movements, facilitate appropriate pencil pressure or assist with appropriate pencil positioning in the webspace.

Collaborate with your occupational therapist in order to determine the best handwriting interventions for your child.


Colleen M. Schneck; Comparison of Pencil-Grip Patterns in First Graders With Good and Poor Writing Skills. Am J Occup Ther 1991;45(8):701–706.

O'Brien, J. C. & Kuhaneck, H. (Eds.). (2020). Case-Smith's occupational therapy for children and adolescents (8th ed.). Elsevier.

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