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Writing Skills

Kindergarten | FAQ’s about Writing

Try the Pinch and Grip Method to create a “Tripod” pencil grip

  • Aim the pencil: Have your child place the pencil in front of them on the table with the sharp tip of the pencil pointing towards them.
  • Pinch it: Next pick up their pencil with their thumb and index finger.
  • Flip it: Then, gently push the pencil so it flips around and rests on their hand.
  • The thumb is bent and moving; the pencil is resting on the joint of the middle finger and index finger is bent and moveable. The ring and little fingers curl softly into the palm, giving the hand stability.

You should see space in the arch of their hand that looks like an “o”. For children who don’t know where to place their hand on the pencil, you can wrap a small rubber band around the pencil.

This is normal! Children are just developing the tiny muscles in their hands needed to coordinate using a pencil or crayon. Sometimes they need a little help to strengthen these fine motor skills. Let your child play with play dough, squeeze water out of sponges, use child-safe scissors to cut paper, crumple up a small piece of paper into a ball using only the writing hand, or use kitchen tongs to squeeze and pick up small objects.

The most important thing for Kindergartners is that they develop a love of writing. The focus on spelling will come in later grades, but for now we just want to build their excitement for writing. Can they read and understand what they’ve written? If they want your help for writing a word, help them stretch out the word and ask what letters they hear. It’s ok to spell words for them, but they should be writing words based on how they hear them. Their words may end up looking like  “pinc” for pencil, “chrd” for tried, “wiut” for white, and “mnit” for minute. This is the first step in their writing journey!

WATCH: Invented Spelling

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