Sugar Aunts: Coban Pencil Grip

Coban Pencil Grip

Pencil grips can be pricey, especially if you are buying a big batch to try and find the right fit for a single child.  Then, add a classroom of kids or a caseload of 50-60 children who each have different pencil gasps, different strengths, different handwriting quirks, and you can go pencil grip bankrupt!  This easy, DIY, custom-made, and cheap coban pencil grip is one that will work with every child no matter what their current pencil grasp looks like.  The secret weapon? Self-adhesive, removable (yet still totally stick-able and re-usable) coban!

Use coban to make a customized, re-usable, DIY pencil grip for improving pencil grasp, perfect for the whole classroom or OT clinic.

This activity is part of our month-long handwriting series where we are sharing creative and easy ways to address common handwriting issues in our 30 Easy Quick Fixes for Better Handwriting series.

You'll also want to join the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Help Facebook group where you can find support and resources for handwriting. 

Coban Pencil Grip (A handwriting gripper secret weapon!)


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Use coban to make a customized, re-usable, DIY pencil grip for improving pencil grasp, perfect for the whole classroom or OT clinic.

What is coban??? Is a question you might be asking right now.  Perhaps you've seen it before.  If you've ever had a surgical wound or a bad wound of any kind, you might have come across coban before.  It's a self-adherent wrap that works a lot like surgical tape.  It's rally a pretty cool material.  It sticks to itself again and again and it requires no adhesive to stay in place.  My days as a hand therapist brings back memories of coban in my therapy tool box.  It's a great device for applying compression to edema, immobilization, and a wrap to dressings.  

But it also makes a pretty awesome pencil grip!

Coban is unique in it's ability to stick to itself, so why not use it to create a customized and DIY pencil grip?  Being that a roll of it is pretty inexpensive, you can create pencil grippers for every pencil in the pencil box as well as colored pencils, mechanical pencils, and even markers.  These writing tools usually don't work with conventional pencil grips, but coban can be fit to any writing device.

Use coban to make a customized, re-usable, DIY pencil grip for improving pencil grasp, perfect for the whole classroom or OT clinic.

We tried a bunch of different writing tools and then made a variety of pencil grippers with the coban.  A child that needs just a tactile cue to pinch the tip of the pencil can use a thin ribbon of coban around the tip of the pencil.

The child that needs a molded form can have the coban built up at the top and end of the pencil grip.  (Just keep wrapping the coban around more to create more layers and a thicker portion.)

The child that uses too much pressure on the pencil could benefit from a foam-y thick layer of coban the whole way around the tip of the pencil.

The child that needs cues to open the thumb web space could have a small "pocket" of coban formed at the end of the pencil gripper. 

The possibilities are endless with this custom-made pencil grip material.

And the best part is that when the pencil needs sharpened, you peel off the coban and move it on up the pencil.

We used blue coban but here is a very inexpensive option for purchasing.  If you need a bunch of rolls for one or several classrooms, this bulk purchase might be a better deal. (Note: that bulk purchase is a 3 inch wide material. You can then cut the material to a thinner strip, essentially tripling the amount of coban you have on hand but also having a thicker material to fold for pencil grips.)

Here are a few tips for making your coban pencil grip:
Using a thicker width of coban is fine (it is available in a variety of widths) as it can easily be cut or folded to fit the needs of your child.  

When making your pencil gripper, fold the end of the coban over once to make a thicker end that will be easier to find and peel off when it comes time to sharpen the pencil or adjust the coban.

Let me know how this DIY pencil grip works for you!

Use coban to make a customized, re-usable, DIY pencil grip for improving pencil grasp, perfect for the whole classroom or OT clinic.

Looking for more ways to improve pencil grasp? Start here:


 Pencil Grasp Activity Pencil Grasp Exercise Thumb opposition activity
   










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