Pencil Grasp

 

 
 
 
Gross Palmar Grasp-  This is the most immature pencil grasp, noted by the lack of finger isolation or dynamic finger movements.  With this grasp, the pinky (ulnar side of the hand) is activating the movement of the writing implement.  This grasp can be inefficient as it does not allow for small isolated strokes. (1-1 1/2 years) 
 
 

 

 
 Digital Pronate Grasp-  In this grasp the child is starting to develop separation of the  sides of the hand.  The thumb, index, and middle fingers (radial side of the hand) are grasping the writing implement.  The wrist is in an inefficient flexed position. This is a static grasp with movement usually initiated from the elbow. (2-3 years)
 
 
 
 
Static Tripod Grasp-  In this grasp the child has fully developed separation of the sides of the hand and is able to isolate fingers in order to grasp the writing implement.  The wrist is in an efficient, neutral position.  This is a static grasp with movement usually initiated from the wrist. (3 1/2-4 years)
 
 
 
 
Dynamic Tripod Grasp-  This is the most mature pencil grasp.  The hand is in optimal position to produce smooth movements.  This is a dynamic grasp where the fingers are moving independently allowing for greater accuracy when coloring/writing.  (4-6 years)
 
 
 
 
 The above images represent the most common developmental progression of pencil grasp.  This is not a complete list of grasp patterns that a child might utilize when holding a writing implement.  Approximate age expectations were referenced from Erhardt Developmental Prehension Assessment.
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