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Mark making and developing hand grasps….

When reading your children’s observations you may notice some language that may not be as well known to you especially in relation to hand grasps and early mark making techniques. Here’s a short explanation of some of that wording.

Lots of children enjoy mark making and this can start in the very early years. Early mark making helps build the foundations for the development of the necessary hand-eye co-ordination needed for handwriting. Mark making isn’t just as simple as picking up a crayon…it can be a sensory experience using hands, feet, different textures, brushes, sticks the list goes on. Children will go through different stages when learning to create marks here is a run down of them all.


The first picture shows a cylindrical grasp. This is mostly seem in younger children. The second picture shows a digital grasp. This is apparent as children refine their mark makings skills, creating more detailed marks. The third picture shows a modified tripod grip. The last picture shows us a tripod grip. This hand grasp is what children should ideally be using when handwriting. Activity ideas to support mark making and hand grasps:

  1. Painting

  2. Threading

  3. Playdough

  4. Chalks

  5. Dried textures such a flour, rice or oats

  6. Wet textures such as gloop, shaving foam or wet sand

  7. Bingo dabbers

  8. Using tweezers to grasps pom-poms or small world items

  9. Squeezing tubes and bottles to build strength in hands.

Here’s some of the children developing hand grasps and mark making skills…













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