The Stetro Pencil Grip is your go-to beginner grip. The cues will help your child to know exactly where to put their fingers and with a little practise with the song, will be well on their way! Before you get stuck in with the song, please do be sure that you have the grip on the correct way. There is a tiny arrow on the grip and that should point to the tip of the pencil. The Stetro Grip is perfect for both your right or left hander. While not wanting to discriminate against your left hander, this rendition of the song is for the right hander. Your lefty will put their index finger on the star, so their words will be: “Put your pointer on the star, do it now. . . . ”
I love that the Stetro Grip was invented by a father to help his son. His wife was baking cookies and he took some of the dough and moulded it into the shape that has become the Stetro. Why Stetro? He named the grip after his two children – Stephanie and Troy and the grips must have been used by millions of children since!
Mary Benbow, one of the Grandmother’s of handwriting, reminded us that pencil grip needs to be taught to our children. She cautioned against only paying it attention once it had gone wrong. And for me, the Stetro is the ideal beginner grip. Be sure to place one on each of your child’s writing implements so that every time they pick it up, they do so with the correct grasp, thus establishing good patterns from the start or as The Happy Handwriter
always aims for: “the right way the first time!®”
The Stetro grip is ideal for use in the classroom setting and is great for pencil crayons and as you can see, the twisty or retractable pencil grip. You are going to need to use some elbow grease to get them on the twisties but it is well worth it! Be sure that they are not too close to the tip or they will block your child’s vision of the pencil tip. If this happens, just move them slightly up and you will be on your way.
We make use of the Stetro Pencil Grip during the class group Muscle Mania programme presented to the Grade R learners. At the beginning of the programme all the Twisties and pencils that we use have a Stetro Pencil Grip on them. To help the children to remember where to place their fingers, we sing a song every time they start drawing or writing. What we love about the song is that later on in the year, we only have to initiate the first line of the song and the children will happily continue singing the song while working. The majority of the children will check their grips and assume the correct pencil grip while singing the song. The song together with the Stetro Pencil Grip assists typically developing children with the adequate knowledge and motor pathways to assume and maintain an adequate three-point pencil grip.
Belinda von Wielligh, Occupational Therapist, Green Point.