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OT Corner: Strengthening the Tripod Fingers for Handwriting

[Source:  The Recycling Occupational Therapist]

The Tripod Grasp, as the name implies involves grasping a writing tool using three fingers, which likens it to the three-legged device that stabilizes a camera. The tripod grasp is considered the most efficient for pencil control and endurance. However, developing the tripod grasp is a gradual process beginning with fine-motor activities that strengthen the “tripod fingers”- the index, middle fingers, and thumb.

Typically developing children between 1 and 1 1/2 year grasp a pencil inside the palm. Between 2 and 3 years of age, they begin grasping it with all the fingers and thumb facing downward. By 3 years of age, they typically begin grasping near the pencil point between the index and middle fingers and thumb- forming a tripod. Over the next years of practice

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