Finger Exercises for Kids learning Handwriting and How to Hold a Pen Correctly.

Sep 23, 2015

Handwriting is something that takes children a while to master. 

It is a skill to coordinate a pen/pencil in a controlled manner to produce an exact result and one that develops over time and experience. 

To develop good handwriting, you require good fine-motor skills, hand/finger muscle strength and a good pen-grip/hold.

Being a trained teacher, since my children started holding and drawing with writing tools (pens, pencils, markers, crayons, paintbrushes), I have been encouraging them to adjust their grip to hold their writing implements with the three correct fingers that allow for good handwriting down the track.

Many children don't practice holding a pen using the correct 3 fingers until they get to school and then it's often a matter of trying to correct the natural hold that they have developed. 

Whilst children (and adults) are able to write using other various holds, the time-tested method below, once mastered, is the most comfortable way to write, allows for ease of movement and is the least likely to cause muscle strain or discomfort, especially when writing for lengthy periods of time.

How to hold a pen correctly

Holding a pen/pencil correctly requires just three fingers. The thumb, index (pointer) and middle finger. This three fingered hold is known as the Tripod Hold/Grip.

Lightly pinch a pencil between the thumb and pointer and rest the pencil on the middle finger.

See how "Clever Cat" can help your child's handwriting here.

Finger exercises for practicing coordination and strengthening finger muscles 

One of the ways that they have been attempting to correct and encourage a proper pen grip/hold, practice coordination and as a finger and hand muscle strengthening activity in my daughter's grade 1 class, is with the following three finger exercises. She couldn't wait to come home to show them to me as she thought they'd be great to share on the blog! "This could help lots of children, Mum!"

Before writing, have your children try a minute or so of each of the three exercises.

The Woodpecker

Holding your pen/pencil towards the pointy end, use your 3 fingers to push the pencil forwards and then pull it back. 

Children can pretend that the pencil is a woodpecker that is pecking a tree (their other hand). 

Ensure that children keep their hand still and only use their finger muscles to push the pencil forwards and backwards.

Here's a demonstration:

The Caterpillar

Start by holding your pen/pencil towards the pointy end. Use your 2 top fingers (thumb and pointer) to push the pencil forwards and slide it along the middle resting finger until your fingers reach the end of the pencil, (almost like crawling along the pencil) then pull the pencil back, sliding your fingers along, until you reach the pointy end of the pencil again. Try going the full length of the pencil, up and down a few times.

Here's a demonstration:

The Helicopter

Holding your pen or pencil in the centre with the three correct fingers, attempt to twirl the pencil around like the blades of a helicopter by switching the fingers one at a time from one side of the pencil to the other.

Here's a demonstration:

Like any habit, it takes time to form a new one and children will learn to hold a pencil correctly with time and practice. 

The above exercises are a fun and challenging way to encourage the use of the three correct fingers for a good pen grip as well as strengthening the muscles. 

This will all aid children in developing good handwriting.

Encourage them to practice writing by:
  • writing about things they love, 
  • keeping a journal, 
  • drawing and tracing pictures, 
  • writing a menu for dinner,
  • making a toy or present wish-list,
  • designing a comic strip,
  • playing games like paddocks and tic-tac-toe, etc.

Fun activities that encourage writing and drawing:

Happy writing and playing,
Debs :)

Look where else we are. Are you following along? :)


  1. The post is written in very a good manner and it contains many useful information for me. Thank you very useful information admin, and pardon me permission to share articles here may help :

    risa herbal
    cara menghilangkan benjolan
    toko obat herbal sapnudin
    sehat dan cantik alami
    khasiat obat herbal
    cara menghilangkan bekas jerawat

  2. Taldeen Saudi Arabia. Taldeen is a plastic solutions company in Saudi Arabia. We will producing plastic pipes, water tanks, handing products such as plastic crates and plastic pallets. So, visit the website for more informations about taldeen plastic manufacturing company

  3. Europa Educations : Europa Educations Providing one-to-one tuition services in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi. If you need home tuition service from us, you should contact or visit our website for book home tuition service. For booking click the following blue words
    Home Tuition Near Me – Home Tutor Near Me

  4. Pjakam is a best website for food recipes and kerala style food report. If you need the tasty kerala food recipes and images, visit the pajakam website.
    Pajakam - Malayalam Cooking Recipes

  5. BBA Aviation is one of the best Management Course in recent times. You can click the below link for more information about BBA Aviation of the Christian College, Bangalore. If you are looking to study BBA Aviation in Bangalore. It is the best option. We have best facility in the same field.
    BBA Aviation colleges in Bangalore
    BBA in Aviation colleges in Bangalore

  6. I've proper selected to build a blog, which I hold been deficient to do for a during. Acknowledges for this inform, it's really serviceable! normal distribution exercises

  7. Dear Sir,
    Good Day!
    This is important web link>

  8. Although all three of them use the same technology but each model has its own unique features and guarantee time. treadclimber reviews

  9. Choosing which Bowflex TreadClimber is best is a very personal question! best treadclimber

  10. "This is the first time an active forum is about 먹튀검증It's really informative"" related to this forum.꽁머니And스포츠중계 also seem to be good because they are related. I'm also very interested in 안전놀이터 and 먹튀검증.I plan to write a forum related to 안전놀이터 later.Before that, you can first check the related materials on my site. site name is 토토사이트.happy to 꽁머니 I can't stop admiring the content of the coolest 먹튀검증사이트I'm yours메이저토토사이트. 메이저안전놀이터And along with 안전놀이터, our site has the same information as 토토사이트먹튀검증. And if you're looking for something new, I'd boldly recommend 안전사설토토사이트 I don't have anything to do with me, but if you're looking for 먹튀검증커뮤니티 I don't think there's a good site for 공식안전놀이터. Go ahead!!

  11. Essay Help Zone is an academic writing firm that professionally offers online essay help UK to students throughout the college or university semesters. Experiencing the writing of the professional writers assists the students to get the right conception of the selected topic students to maintain their grades. The team of experts follows the procedures that give plagiarism-free results. They assure to keep the personal information of the students confidential and not to share it with anyone.


Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love reading them all.