Tripod Grip Explained in Pictures

The Way You Hold Your Writing Implement Can Have a Big Effect on Your Early Writing

The tripod grip is something a child may naturally start to do around 3 to 4 years of age.
It's the classic grip for a pencil and is also useful when learning to fasten buttons.

photo of a child drawing using a tripod grip

An example of the tripod grip

child writing on a worksheet

A clasped grip - not a tripod grip

child holding a pencil

Not a tripod grip - the middle finger is not tucked behind the pencil

parent helping child to hold pencil correctly

Its ok to help to get the fingers right

parent helping child to hold pencil correctly

A tripod grip in early mark making

child holding blue pencil correctly tripod grip

Tripod grips in early mark making can often appear and then are dropped by the child whilst they experiment

adult hand holding pencil in a tripod grip

Tripod grip demonstrated by teacher

adult hand holding pencil in a tripod grip

Tripod grip - note the middle finger tucked behind pencil

The tripod grip can help to make early writing much more steady and those early steps much more comfortable for the childrens hands.

How to improve a tripod grip

A practical tip

Try holding an eraser or a small piece of crayon with the last 2 fingers of hand whilst writing or mark making.
This will naturally make the fingers into a tripod grip.
Dont worry too much about the writing quality or the shapes made, its getting practice with the tripod grip that counts.

photo showing girl holding eraser in last 2 fingers of left hand and writing
photo showing boy holding eraser in last 2 fingers of left hand

photo showing boy holding eraser in last 2 fingers of left hand whilst holding a pencil

You could buy..

Pencil Grips

There are products that can help in learning the tripod grip. Here the ones we use.

Why we like them: These grips are sturdy and bright. When you need a little bit of help with making your first marks, shapes and letters these will help guide your fingers into the correct grip.


More articles
photo showing girl holding 2 times table sheet

Why Times Tables are So Important

Three Threes are Nine - Is That Fine?

Find out why are the building blocks to furthermore complex mathematics
graphic showing a grey male figure amongst lots of green male figure

Helping Colour-Blind Children ...and Teachers!

Small Considerations Can Make a Difference

There are things you can do to help
coloured pencils arranged in a cricle with their points touching

7 Ways to Improve Your Child's Early Writing

And Have Fun Along the Way

Practical examples to get your child up and running with letters and sounds