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This $5 tool is helping kids get a grip on writing

Almost 3,000 TODAY readers have purchased these since March.
/ Source: TODAY

One very common thing little kids struggle with when starting school is holding their pencil correctly. However, a popular product on Amazon is helping kids improve their grip on writing.

This soft pencil grip can guide your little one to write the correct way and help relieve the unnecessary pressure an incorrect hold may be putting on their tiny hand.

Children's Writing Aid Pencil Grip Set

The set of three grips has an average of 4.2 stars. And their hollow silicon design is comfortable and breathable. Plus, they come in fun colors your kid will enjoy using at home or school.

According to Dr. Lisa Lewis, a board certified pediatrician in Texas, "Difficulties holding a pencil can affect writing skills early. It is important for a child to work on writing skills, ensuring the writing utensil grip is not too firm and also not too unsteady. Children with a poor grip on the pencil tend to write more slowly. Slow, ineffective writing may hinder their academic performance, plus cause frustration while writing."

Not every child needs a pencil grip, but if they do, finding the right one can also be a bit of a process.

"Selecting the correct grip for a child is truly a trial and error process based on the type of grasp they are naturally using as well as their own motivation to use the grip," said Dr. Denise Donica, Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at East Carolina University.

Dr. Donica explained that occupational therapists are great professionals to consult if parents have concerns about their child’s grasp.

"It is important to remember that grasp must be taught, it isn’t necessarily a skill that just develops on its own," she said. "Not holding a pencil correctly can lead to increased fatigue and even pain in the hand with writing tasks."

The goal is to help build the habit of holding a pencil correctly, so eventually your kiddo won't even need it anymore. "I typically suggest an on/off approach," Dr. Lewis added. "Use the pencil grip to reduce hand fatigue and help keep the fingers steady, but also practice without the grip to strengthen fine motor skills."

And Amazon reviewers have seen success with this particular writing aid.

"My son is learning to write and this product helped make an instant improvement for him!" one reviewer wrote.

The grips can also be a great tool for children with motor delays.

"My daughter, who is 5, has some fine-motor delays," another reviewer shared. "She still does not hold a writing utensil correctly and when I try to reposition her fingers she usually gets frustrated with me and just quits the activity. I ordered these and before using them had her (occupational therapist) look at them; she thought they were great. My daughter is now using them with crayons, pencils and pens at home and at school and it's going great. They are really helping her to have a proper grasp."

Sounds like a win to us!

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