What Is a Tripod Grip?

tripod-grip Credit: Beverley Goodwin/CC-BY 2.0

A tripod grip is a common and efficient way to grasp a pencil or other writing utensil. In a tripod grip, the pencil is held between the thumb and the index finger, and it rests on the side of the middle finger.

Most children are taught a tripod grip when they are learning to print. Some children hold the pencil in other grips that are not efficient. Some of these grips make writing difficult or may cause hand discomfort or pain. Occupational therapists who work in schools often work with children to modify their grip to a tripod grip. Special triangular tools that fit over pencils are available to help children learn a tripod grip.