DIY Handwriting Tool

By Sara Niver, OTR/L

This DIY handwriting tool for school aged children will help promote a tripod grasp and proper pencil placement in the child’s web space! Low cost and so simple to create!

Pencil placement is a key component for proper dynamic movements while using a writing utensil! When a writing utensil is not properly placed, it can lead to static movements and fatigue while writing. Therefore, limiting a child’s ability to write or color with precision, accuracy, and control. This is commonly seen in patterns such as:



  1. An all finger grasp: The pads of all five digits are placed on the pencil.
  2. A closed web space with a lateral thumb wrap. Pencil placement is typically between the PIP and MCP joints of the second digit.
  3. Second digit hooking: The pencil is placed into the second PIP joint while the second MCP joint is in extension.
  4. Palmar-Supinate Grasp (fisted grasp): The pencil is placed in the palm of the hand with all digits in flexion around the pencil (*note: a fisted grasp is developmentally appropriate up to 12-18 months of age).




This tool forces the pencil into the web space, while the “writing buddy” bead connected to the band helps promote flexion of the fourth and fifth digits into the palm; making way for a beautiful tripod grasp! This can also help promote slight wrist extension for children who write with wrist flexion. In addition to the tool, put an adaptive gripper on the pencil to help promote proper finger placement!





3)Craft loops (typically bought for weaving pot holders)




How to make it:

  • Tie small knot on the craft loop to create a loop for the pencil to fit into
  • Cut another craft loop to create a single string
  • Tie one end of the cut craft loop on the knotted loop
  • Put bead onto the other end and make a knot so it doesn’t fall off







Scissors (dollar store): $1


Beads (dollar store): $1


Craft loops (craft store/ Walmart): $5


Up to 50 handwriting tools for $7.00 + tax!