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Developmental Grasp Patterns

Developmental grasp patterns refer to the different ways that children grip and manipulate objects as they grow and develop. These patterns are fundamental to the development of fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.



Sharma, A. (2011). Developmental examination: Birth to 5 years. Archives of Disease in Childhood - Education and Practice; 96:162-175.


Schneck CM, Henderson A. Descriptive analysis of the developmental progression of grip position for pencil and crayon control in nondysfunctional children. Am J Occup Ther. 1990 Oct;44(10):893-900. doi: 10.5014/ajot.44.10.893. PMID: 2248351.

The Importance of Grasp Patterns in Schools

Grasp patterns are essential for success in a number of academic skills, including handwriting, drawing, and using tools such as scissors and rulers. 

Kids Handwriting


Functional grasp patterns are necessary to produce clear, legible writing.

Kids Drawing


Grasp patterns help children use crayons and pencils with precision and control.

Crafts Activity

Tool Use

Functional grasp patterns help children use scissors and other tools effectively and safely.

Principles of Grasp Patterns

Grasp patterns have a set of foundational principles that support their development. These principles include control, strength, and coordination.

Web Spaces for Handwriting and Fine Motor Activities

Open Web Space
  • Allows for better control and flexibility of the writing tool
  • Aid in dynamic finger/wrist movements
Closed Web Space
  • May result in a tighter grip and less control over the writing tool
  • May lead to decrease dexterity and finger opposition during fine motor activities
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