Learning to write systematically by grasping things the right way
Fist or palmar grasp
Thus, their first “pictures” are the result of “random” arm movements which are guiding a pencil.
This stage is followed by an important transition impacting on the entire future repertoire of motor drawing and writing skills. Movements become more purposeful, lines are no longer random, but more controlled when drawn on a two-dimensional sheet of paper.
The latter is essential for getting proper control of the pencil, i.e. to relax while holding it and to purposefully guide it to draw a line. In this context, the index finger takes the most active part as it guides the overall movements. The thumb and the index finger are placed gently on either side of the pencil, while the middle finger goes underneath for support. It should not be placed in any kind of recess, as this would require changing the position of the arms while writing, which would, in turn, result in muscle tension. For properly learning the tripod grip, children need adequate guidance and repeated pencil grip correction.
While performing the above activities, children simultaneously acquire and practise visuo-motor skills (i.e. eye-hand coordination) which become automatic over time. Allowing children to exclusively engage in monotonous, repetitive actions, such as playing games on video game consoles, prevents the development of important eye-hand coordination skills. To succeed at school, children have to repeatedly practise complex grips: throwing and catching a ball, bead stringing, combining pluck-in toy building blocks, cutting out shapes/figures.
Please make sure that you include a sufficient amount of stretching exercises for loosening up the tight muscles of the child’s hands: he/she can shake their hands loose in front of them, crawl along a tabletop or another child’s back with their fingers, shape modelling clay by performing different types of movements (rolling, twisting, pulling, picking, hitting, kneading). A fun way for loosening up and strengthening hand muscles is to take the Faber-Castell super-soft modelling clay and shape small balls. Children can throw and catch them like bouncy balls – this is great fun and simultaneously furthers a large number of skills and abilities.