Homeschool Posts

Notebooking Pages Free Resources

Image by Jose R. Cabello from Pixabay

This Blog is An Archive And Has Not Been Updated Since 2018

9.27.2021: Google very recently changed drive links for security reasons, so you may find that when you click on a link for one of my printables that you need to submit a share request. PLEASE only submit one share request per item! These have to be manually confirmed and I will get to them when I get to them. I promise you that sending me 12 requests in rapid succession will not make that happen faster, lol! I do not sit on my computer waiting around to send people instant shares of freebies. Thank you so much for your patience as I try to sort out this latest Google mess.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Pencil Grips and Safety Scissors for Kids, a review

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Need help teaching your child how to correctly hold a pencil while writing? Or maybe watching your little one wielding the school scissors makes you a tad uncomfortable? The Pencil Grip, Inc. just might have the right solution for you. We recently had the opportunity to try out and review The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit and The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors.

Review of the Pencil Grip and Ultra Safe Safety Scissors at Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit

This set comes with 3 different grips that are latex and phthalate free. Each grip slides onto a standard pencil or stick pen with a little effort (the material grips so that it stays put once in place).

The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit

They seem to come in a random color assortment. The set we received for review had a different color for each step, but they were different from those you see pictured above.

While the grips are designed to be used successively as your child develops better pencil control, the Pencil Grip says this is only a recommendation---use the grip that is the most comfortable for your child to use.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these. I’ve included pictures of the grips in both in my adult right hand and my 8-year-old daughter’s left hand, so you can see how they fit.

From left to right…

Step 1 is the Crossover Grip for training.

Crossover grip from the Pencil GripHere’s a side view. Each of the grips has helpful markings that show you where to place your thumb if you are right or left-handed.

Crossover grip from the Pencil GripCrossover grip from the Pencil Grip

Here I am holding it for writing. You can see that there is a cape-like part over the top to keep little fingers from migrating around the pencil. This grip is really too small for me (the degree it forces my fingers to bend at is too cramped), but it might work for an adult with smaller hands.

Here are some pictures of my 8-year-old using the Crossover Grip (sorry they are fuzzy---it’s hard to photograph a moving hand).

Crossover grip from the Pencil Grip

Crossover grip from the Pencil Grip

Step 2 is to transition with the Pinch Grip.

Pinch Grip from the Pencil GripPinch Grip from the Pencil Grip

I had not noticed this when I took these pictures, but you can see hair and some fluff sticking to these grips. They are a little “sticky,”  which helps them grab onto the pencil, but it also causes them to collect bits of fluff.

Here it is in hand:

Pinch Grip from the Pencil GripPinch Grip from the Pencil Grip

Again, while I can use this grip, it makes my hand feel cramped. Definitely better for smaller hands.

The Pinch Grip was my daughter’s favorite:

Pinch Grip from the Pencil Grip in usePinch Grip from the Pencil Grip in use

Step 3 is the Pencil Grip Original.

This grip was the most comfortable in an adult hand, but still a little small.

The Pencil Grip OriginalThe Pencil Grip Original

The Pencil Grip Original continues to provide comfort and ease of correct finger placement, but is not restrictive like the other two styles.

The Pencil Grip OriginalThe Pencil Grip Original

The Pencil Grip Original

What did we think of the The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit?

This is a great kit for kids who are still working on proper finger placement and/or pencil control. Here’s a picture of Emma without a grip side-by-side with her using the Pinch Grip:

without a pencil gripwith the pinch grip

You can see how her hand looks a little more relaxed and she’s not trying to cling to the pencil with all five of her fingers as she is without the grip (no wonder she gets tired when she’s writing). The Pinch Grip is a good fit for her now, so we’ll continue to use it.

If you are an adult who is looking for a grip to help with carpal tunnel syndrome (that’s me) or arthritis, these grips may not work for you. Both my husband and I (he’s a lefty) found that they were uncomfortable. The angling is just not right for our hand spread. If you have a smaller hand, the Pencil Grip Original may be worth a try.

Let’s talk about the The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors.

We also received these ingenious scissors that are designed to keep kids ages 3+ safe while cutting.

The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors
The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors have a permanently affixed plastic guard that the bottom blade slides in and out of.

Ultra Safe Safety Scissors
The yellow plastic piece swivels and can be used as a “spring” so that the blades automatically open again after closing. The size is perfect for small hands, but I also had no trouble using them as an adult.

It’s a little hard to show how these scissors work with just pictures and words, so my 8-year-old daughter, Emma, and I have put together a little video for you:

What do we think of the Ultra Safe Safety Scissors?

What we like:

  • It is nigh near impossible to cut yourself with these scissors!
  • They are inexpensive.
  • They cut well, even for lefties (many scissors don’t work for lefties AT ALL).
  • They fit small hands well, but are still usable for adults---how many times have I used the kid scissors because mine had disappeared?

Here’s a picture showing the farthest that the Ultra Safe scissors open compared to regular kid scissors:

how far the safety scissors open

Something you should know:

I’ve been lucky…I have never had a child cut his or herself with a pair of scissors (knife, yes, not scissors). 

But I have had kids cut: clothing, hair, mini blinds…

Kids like to cut “stuff,” which is part of the reason why many “safe” scissors are dull or will only cut paper. The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors would not have prevented any of these misadventures, because they are not designed to do that.  If your primary concern is to keep your child from cutting herself, the Ultra Safe Safety Scissors may be a good choice, but if she tends to cut other stuff, you may want to look for a different solution. Winking smile
Emma slinging the safety scissors

What we would like to see improved:

The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors are much heavier than regular kid scissors and perhaps too heavy for little hands. My daughter is 8, so a little older than the target age range on this product, and yet she still felt that the weight of the guard was interfering with her cutting and causing her fatigue.

The action is not smooth enough. If you have the “spring” turned off so that the scissors don’t automatically open, it takes more force to reopen them than with our other kid scissors. This leads to jerky cutting, which you can see in the video, and tired hands.

The “spring” that forces the blades back open automatically requires a fair amount of force to overcome---my daughter felt that it was too hard to cut using the spring and also led to jerky cutting.

Smaller children are less coordinated and have less strength in their hands than my daughter. They may find the Ultra Safe Safety Scissors frustrating to use.

The Pencil Grip, Inc.’s The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit and The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors can both be purchased from Amazon.

Read what the rest of the Crew had to say about these products:

Ultra Safe Safety Scissors & Pencil Grip Training Kit {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for joining the conversation!

Please note: Comments on posts older than 16 days are moderated (this cuts down on SPAM). All other comments post immediately.