The pencil grip was invented by Doctor Lois Provda, a prominent educational therapist, in 1992. She saw children struggling to write, and even make clean, straight lines on a page, and wanted to help. That's when pencil grips were born. They are made of safe materials, including foam and rubber, and contain no latex; they are also phthalate-free. In other words, they're user friendly for every child or adult.
Consider how essential the common, everyday pencil is to our lives; then, imagine not being able to hold one. Imagine not being able to hold a pencil steady when you're helping your grandchild do a drawing, or when you're doing the daily crossword puzzle in your favourite local newspaper. Considering these scenarios might give you an idea of what life is like for those who can't hold one....it's more than inconvenient; it's frustrating and maddening. Fortunately, for people in these and other situations, pencil grips are a solution that enables folks to write, draw and puzzle to their hearts' content!
Pencil grips enable folks to comfortably hold a pencil in spite of having a medical condition that impedes their ability to naturally do so. They come in many different designs and a rainbow of colors, and they are not expensive, so you can choose them with fashion in mind, not just function! Imagine changing your pencil grip every day to match your outfit – a purple pencil grip on Easter, a red pencil grip on Christmas...you get the idea! But before we go on our shopping spree to stock up, let's take a look at just who pencil grips are designed to help. You might find yourself described in one of the categories below; you, or your mum, or even one of your children. The right pencil grip can help if you – or one of your loved ones --are dealing with any of the following conditions:
Arthritis: Anybody with arthritis will tell you...doing a crossword puzzle or writing out a cheque (yes, people still do that,) can be frustratingly difficult when your hands and knuckles are swollen and sore. And most pencils, by design, are slender. But add a pencil grip, and suddenly you've eased that problem...it adds thickness in just the right spot, so you don't have to squeeze the shaft with all your might to try to hold it steady. And because pencil grips aren't slippery – they are often made of rubber, like an eraser – they don't cause fingers to slide around the shaft of the pencil. All of a sudden, the pencil is staying where it's supposed to, and the individual can legibly write his or her name. No more struggling to fill in the crossword clue without messing up the little box's border. It may not deal with the pain of arthritis, but it certainly helps deal with the inconvenience, and that counts for a lot! For the very small investment of a few dollars, or even less, pencil grips make the life of someone who doesn't enjoy writing or drawing anymore so much easier!
Pencil grips easily slide over any pencil, the whole in the centre makes it simple for even a child to attach it. And they are just as easy to slide off, if you want to change the one you're using to a differnt style or shape...or color!
Pencil Grips: An Essential Tool For Children:
Pencil grips can make the life of a child so much easier, particularly when they are just beginning to learn how to print, write, or draw. According to most experts, children are learning to hold a pencil by about the age of four. Lots of kids can hold them steady, but not all; a pencil grip is just the right aid to help them get going. Rather than seeing them get discouraged by the task, simply add a pencil grip. It allows them to grip the pencil less furiously, and helps them steady their hand, so they can focus on that lovely drawing of your family's pet they are working so hard on! And that, in turn, encourages them to keep practising their writing or drawing – the goal of every good parent, right? So yes, you should buy pencil grips for your children; they make a fine, helpful addition to any backpack of school supplies or pencil case...and they're not expensive!
For less than $20 on most websites, you can purchase a 12-pack of colorful grotto pencil grips that are designed especially for kids, to help them learn how to hold the pencil properly. Or you can choose a pencil grip crossover; that's a metallic, ergonomically-designed pencil grip made for any child, left or right handed. These pencil grips have little “wings” that encourage children to keep their fingers in the proper spots when they're learning to print or write.
The way we hold a pencil is most commonly referred to as the “tripod grasp.” That simply refers to the position in which we keep the pencil's shaft between our three fingers – the thumb, the forefinger and the middle finer. Think about it; the name perfectly describes the fingers' placement, like the legs of a camera's tripod.
A pencil grip makes holding it so much easier. And for anyone who does a lot of writing – a school teacher who is constantly marking essays and exams, for example – comfort is key.
Styles and Shapes:
For such a simple little device, pencil grips come in a dazzling array of colors and shapes, but the end goals are always the same: make writing more comfortable and lessen the furious grip with which we all tend to clasp them.
Some pencil grips are shaped like triangles; some are ridged, for extra comfort. Some are made of foam, while others, as previously mentioned, are made of rubber. Some pencil grips have crazy designs on them and come in vibrant colors, while others come in shades and hues that are more subdued. The ones you choose depend solely on two things: your needs, and your tastes. If you like everything from your car to your clothing in bright, flashy colors, there's a pencil grip out there to suit your tastes! Just because they serve a vital purpose doesn't mean they aren't cute! They come in many styles and shapes, and there is certain to be a pencil grip out there that's perfect for you, or that special someone who's getting ready for school!
There is one called as “pinch grip,” another called a “baseball bat” foam style. Some come with finger indentations already there, while others are shaped like tubes, or cylinders. It's amazing how many different shapes and such have been created for this small but vital instrument.
Pencil Grips For The Differently Abled:
In some cases, children struggle to hold a pencil if their fine motor skills aren't fully developed. This is where the right pencil grip for your child, your student, your grandchild or any other person you know will make all the difference in the world.
Pencil grips can help children ease off the intense pressure they sometimes put on the pencil's shaft, and that makes their learning process easier! They are a helpful tool for any child to use, but in particular, children with special needs, like those with Autism, Dyspraxia, Dysgraphia or other health concerns that affect their motor skills. And because they are made of non-toxic materials like rubber and foam, pencil grips are environmentally friendly and fine for kids of all ages to use.
Dyspraxia is defined by the Dyspraxia foundation in the United Kingdom as a “form of developmental co-ordination disorder, affecting gross and fine motor skills in both children and adults.” It can cause an “individual co-ordination difficulties (that) may affect participation and functioning of everyday life skills in education, work and employment.” And what more fundamental skill is required of both children and adults than using a pencil? Just imagine the struggle faced by some – and then the relief brought by something as simple as a pencil grip? Getting this simple tool for the child in your life who's attempting to keep up with his classmates would be the greatest gift you could bestow.
Dysgraphia, on the other hand, is formally classified as a learning disability. Anyone with this condition has a tough time, usually, even drawing a straight line, and so a pencil grip is a vital tool for parents and teachers who are encouraging kids to express themselves on the page.
Autism is a more widely known condition. It, too, can cause those living with it to be unable to write clearly and comprehensively. Ergo, a pencil grip makes their lives easier, because it provides the stability and steadiness children need when putting down thoughts and ideas.
Although the root causes of these and other motor skill disorders are not fully understood, the net effect is the same: trouble with writing, printing and drawing. Consequently, children suffer through the pain of being unable to communicate on the page; they can't write their thoughts down, and their lives becoming increasingly frustrating.
Making sure that anyone you know who has a hard time using a pencil has a grip is such a simple, inexpensive thing to do, but the benefits it brings are almost immeasurable. Have you ever watched a child's face as she holds up her drawing for you, and you playfully shriek, “is that me???” As she smiles and nods “yes”! You'll know that you played a small but pivotal role in bringing that smile to her face, and that feeling is priceless. All because you made sure she had a colorful supply of pencil grips before she started drawing. Soon, she'll be printing or even writing her own name, and that accomplishment is something she'll remember for many days to come.