How to Increase Pencil Pressure

10 ideas to increase pencil pressure

Do you work with students who have difficulty applying pencil pressure when writing?  Students can start out writing lightly and then continue to get lighter and lighter.  Sometimes teachers or therapists have had success using markers to write with instead of pencils.  Here are a few additional ideas on how students can increase pencil pressure.

How to Increase Pencil Pressure + Lots of FREEBIES

Here are 10 ideas on how to increase pressure when writing:

  1. Try using markers or gel pens to make marks instead of pencils.
  2. Use a weighted pencil or hand/wrist weights to increase input to the hand.  Check out Therapy Fun Zone for a DIY Weighted Pencil.
  3. Write on carbon paper – the child has to press hard to make the marks go through the paper.
  4. Poke holes through paper to provide an example of applying pressure – check out these free Picture Poke cards.
  5. Put paper over bumpy material such as rough sandpaper or plastic needlepoint canvas. Write on the paper and you will have some tactile feedback.
  6. Color using shading to demonstrate that different shades require a different amount of pressure.  Try this free Shade Wisely activity or Missing Monster freebie.
  7. Use a dull pencil, golf tee or wooden dowel to write in clay.
  8. Warm up by squeezing a stress ball or upper extremity weight bearing activities such as wheelbarrow walking, Proprioceptive Poems, animal walks or wall push ups.
  9. Strengthen the fingers and grip with clothespin activities.  Try the free Ninja Clothes Pin activity.  Play some visual perceptual clothes pin games. Make clothes pin silly faces.
  10. Strengthen the fingers with hole punch activities.  Try punching out the matching shapes or these shape people punches.  If a traditional hole punch is too difficult try this type of hole punch.

Watch the Video on How to Increase Pencil Pressure

Do you need to help students with pencil grasp too?

Pencil Grasp Interventions

Pencil Grasp Interventions digital download was created by Thia Triggs, OTR.  She reports that as a school-based Occupational Therapist, the most frequent issue teachers ask her about is pencil grasp. “Is this grasp OK?”, “What should I do about this grasp?” “Should I give my student a pencil gripper?” “What pencil gripper should I use?”.  This 31 page PDF digital document is available electronically immediately following payment for just $6.99.

Which pencil grasps are OK?
Many teachers are surprised to learn that there are at least five different pencil grasps which research has shown to be fully functional. Children who use these grasps can write with enough speed and without increased fatigue or discomfort.

What interferes with developing a functional pencil grasp?
Learn about the four major reasons that a child may struggle with acquiring a mature pencil grasp and what you can do to address the causes.

What else can I do to change a child’s pencil grip?
Learn 10 therapeutic OT tips and tricks to modify a child’s pencil grasp.

Who will benefit from this product?
This product includes information valuable for entry and mid-level occupational therapists, and OTs’ who are new to pediatric practice, as well as teachers, special education professionals, interventionists, homeschool parents, and parents, committed to helping their child learn to use a functional pencil grasp.

What does the Pencil Grasp Interventions Digital Download Include?

This 31-page tool includes:

☑︎ What grasps look like in the major three categories
☑︎ Why some grasps are more advantageous than others
☑︎ What ages typically developing children are using these three types of grasp
☑︎ What four main factors interfere with pencil grasp development
☑︎ What parents and teachers can do to address those factors
☑︎ What tips and tricks do OTs use to support the highest level of grip a child is able to use 
☑︎ When should pencil grippers be used
Video – links to videos
☑︎ Therapeutic techniques in use.
Tracking Tools
☑︎ Track the pencil grasps of all the children on your caseload, or just one individual child, all on one sheet.
Printable Intervention Tools Shown in Videos & Pictures
☑︎ Donut Store Activity
☑︎ Color Sight Words by Code
☑︎ Alphabet writing
*************** Feedback ****************
“Great for problem-solving and data collection!”
“Excellent resource with activities!”
“I appreciate the tips and information.”
Add the Pencil Grasp Intervention digital download to your shopping cart.
Do you work with students student who have difficulty applying pencil pressure when writing? Here are 10 ideas on how to increase pressure when writing.