Learning to write systematically

Ergonomic writing instruments

All writing instruments by Faber-Castell are developed with an ergonomic value added so that they support different individual children’s hands, both of left-handed and right-handed children. The triangular grip zone of the writing instruments promotes the correct three-finger grip and ensures a relaxed, tireless writing position. The shape and material of the writing instruments ensure a non-slip grip as well as providing leeway for individual positioning of the fingers. The ergonomics of the writing instrument continues to be correct even when the proportions of a child’s hand change anatomically in growth.

Jumbo Grip pencil

Jumbo Grip lead and colour pencils, the twist pencil with a triangular profile as well as the school fountain pen from Faber-Castell feature a number of characteristics which provide children with optimum support during the learning-to-write process. A great advantage in all writing instruments is the triangular shape as it guarantees the greatest possible contact between the fingers and the pen or pencil. With round pens or pencils, the rotation axis also has to be fixed which causes the hand to tense up further. Changes of direction, the exertion of pressure and the actual gripping of the pen/pencil are more relaxed when drawing and writing with triangular pens and pencils.

Scribolino twist pencil

The ergonomics of the twist pencil supports children in graphomotor and writing motor tasks, whether they are right-handers or left-handers.

1. A stable but soft and extra thick lead of 1.4 mm for writing practice without troublesome sharpening.

2. The “shock absorber” (= integrated spring) offsets too much pressure and thus avoids the lead breaking.

3. Ergonomically shaped triangular profile which supports the three-finger grip.

4. Rotation-symmetrical shape, for righthanders and left-handers.

5. Intuitive orientation help with colour markings for the index finger and thumb which requires a three-finger grip but which ergonomically does not result in cramping thus allowing an individual grip.

6. Pleasant, non-slip material for relaxed grip.

7. Sturdy twist mechanism for precise lead lengthening.

Scribolino school fountain pen

Pens, pencils and fountain pens intended to help children learn to write have to be shaped ergonomically so that they support writing and graphomotor skills in the best possible way. At the same time, however, they should offer enough freedom to let children learn the perfect three-finger grip to suit their particular hand. This makes drawing and learning to write fun and, what is more, successful! A good fountain pen for learning to write should have the following characteristics:

1. The nib must have an iridium tip to withstand strong pressure.

2.  A “step” towards the nib helps a child not to position his/her fingers too far forward and to ensure a writing angle of around 45 degrees. The nib thus glides fluidly, the fingers do not cover the writing tip and enable the necessary eye-hand coordination.

3. The grip zone should not have three recesses as these can lead to more cramping of the hand. In terms of the ergonomic grip zone, the following is true: as little as possible and as much as necessary. A recess or “slide” is only important for the index finger as a predefined position; this ensures the best possible changes of direction and variation in pressure. The middle finger does not require a recess on the underside – it does best with a smooth surface so that it can lie at an angle under the pen. A recess could change the position of the wrist, elbow and arm resulting in the writing hand tensing up! The thumb does not need a recess either – it should be allowed to find the grip position that suits it best.

4. Asymmetrically designed grip zone to suit a child’s hand preference.

5. Refilling with standard cartridges and window to check the ink level.

6. The barrel should prevent a child from lengthening the barrel with the cap. This stops any negative leverage effect and unnecessary muscle involvement.

7. Incorporated “roll-away brake”

Developing handwriting
Before children start school, they begin to write their first words; for instance, they use capital letters to write their own name, MUM or the name of their favourite pet.
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Learning to write – with the right grip
Grasping and gripping are of great importance for human beings throughout their entire development.
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Left or right?
Whether children are left-handed or right-handed has nothing to do with their capability to learn, with their intelligence or with the learning-to-write process.
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Some further points to bear in mind
Suitable pencils as well as the following criteria will have a positive impact on children’s handwriting skills.
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Practising with beads
Valuable training for the relaxed, correct holding of a writing instrument.
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