As your children are growing they naturally hold the pencil and crayons in different ways. Pencil grip development in toddlers can be very complicated process. The way they hold their pencil and crayons it shows that how steady their arm muscles are. For any parent it is important to know the best way of holding the pencil and crayons according to their children growing age.

You should always remember that perfect pencil/pen grip will allow your child to write better.

For proper pencil grasp development in kids you have to guide your kid from childhood. If your child grasps objects from early growing stage, then they are more capable of developing good pencil grip at an early stage. Every child grasping technique is different at different ages.

Pencil grip of 1-2-year-old child

fisted grasp

Every child has different developmental stages of pencil grasp. Children who are between the ages of 1-2 years they usually use fisted grasp technique. In this type of holding technique they just pick-up the crayon and pencil and likely hold it in their closed fist. This is the very initial stage of pencil grasp development in the child. In this child use their shoulder that is whole arm movement to scribble and color.

By the age of 3 to 9 months your baby should be able to hold or rattle the small objects. At this age your child is not able to hold the pencil by a thumb. It is also considered as primitive grasping technique. At this initial stage holding of a pencil is initiated by the movement of shoulder and elbow.

Pencil grip of 2-3-year-old child

palm grasp

As the child grows it develops more control over the shoulder and arm muscles. During the age of 2-3 years, child uses palmed grasps technique to hold the pencil or crayon. In this your child will hold the pencil with their fingers.

In his type of grasping the hand is usually facing downwards towards the paper while scribbling or writing. In this your child will continue to use whole arm movement to scribble.

It is also known as transitional grasp technique. The coloring and drawing movements involves movement of large muscles therefore, it has more control than palmers grasp technique.

Pencil grip of 3-4-year-old child

static tripod grasp

At this age child uses static tripod grasp for holding a pencil or crayons. In this type of grasping child uses three fingers to hold the pencil. Basically, he/she uses index finger to grasp, middle and thumb finger. Sometimes while using this grasping method child may use his fourth finger, which can provide more support in holding the pencil. This is also known as the static grasp in which fingers are moved independently.

At this stage when the kid is drawing or writing something, the movement starts from larger joints of arms, elbow and shoulder. At this age finger remains static and hand moves as 1 unit. At this stage you will see static tripod gripping in kids.

When the kid is working on paper, he is more confident and comfortable while using static tripod grasping technique. Around a 50% of kids at this stage can use static tripod method.

Similarly, few kids at this age develop static quadrupod grasp. This holding technique is very much similar to static tripod technique. In this three fingers are used to pinch while writing and it uses one finger to support the writing tool. Static quadrupod is functional and appropriate for small kids.

Pencil grip of 4-6-year-old child

tripod grasp for kids


At this age your child uses dynamic tripod grasp technique to hold the pencil. It is considered a mature type of grasping used in holding the pencil or pen. Fingers are moved independently by which more precise writing and drawing is done. When the fingers move independently, then little finger curls into palm. This grasping technique is also considered the most ideal form of holding pencil.

This dynamic grasping gives more support while writing and coloring. At this stage child is one step away to deliver formal type of handwriting.

Pencil grip for 6-7-year-old child

tripod grasp for 6 7 year old

6-year-old child is mature enough to hold the pencil by using three fingers. Grasping at this stage is known as tripod pencil grasp. At the beginning of this stage fingers might be stiff but when wrist and muscles movement increases, then muscles tends to become more steady and strong.

At the age of 7 years child develops both hand and eye coordination. Child will hold the pencil by using three fingers at a time. 7 years old child is more active in motor activities. By using both hand and eye coordination he can both write and draw different structures.

Switching grasps

Sometimes at an early stage you may see that your child is switching pencil between grasps. When the shoulder muscle and arm muscles get stronger than your child is likely to switch the grasps.

You need not to discourage your child if he switched his grasps in between. You should promote correct pencil grasp to your child.


Kids learn to master efficient pencil grip stage by stage. When you see kids hold a pencil in awkward ways, you should not be worried since they are in the learning stage to efficient grip. However, parents / teachers should also take time to teach kids to write in right ways and encourage them more.  Why kids always complain about pain in their hand during writing? One of the important reason is that they hold a pencil in incorrect ways, and the other is because they write for an extended period. Whatever the reason is, you can grab a piece of pencil grip to help reduce kids handwriting pain.