09 10

17 October 2017

Pencil Grips and Safety Scissors {Crew Review}

The Pencil Grip, Inc.

For this review, we were given The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors and The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit both from The Pencil Grip, Inc. They have a number of preschool-oriented products; I reviewed their Thin Stix earlier this year.

When the scissors and pencil grips came, I got out the scissors first. Our reading curriculum has some activities that require cutting, but Peanut(4) hadn't realized they were cutting pages, so when I asked her to choose a page, she's never picked one of those before. She was delighted as soon as she realized she'd be cutting things out and building a hat; she loves that kind of thing. She loves the new scissors, too, because she thinks they are "girl scissors".

However, the guide makes them really awkward to use. I'd estimate that it at least doubled the time that it took her to do the cutting, compared to regular scissors. Getting the paper to line up with the scissors correctly is already a huge task for small hands, and that huge guide makes it much more difficult. My daughter really struggled with using them, and when she was cutting out her squares - a relatively simple task that she's been able to handle for a long time now - turning that last corner was extremely difficult. Also, her cuts were not as nice with the safety scissors: because it's so hard to control, it left a jagged edge, which is not her usual at all. I can't remember any of my kids ever cutting themselves with regular kid scissors, and certainly they've never done serious damage to themselves, so I feel like the big awkward guide, the yellow gizmo in between the handles that keeps them from coming open properly when you use it, it's all overkill on the "safety".

The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors

You can see the contrast between how she handles her regular scissors vs. the safety scissors in this movie, where I had her use them both on a single project. She's working hard, and it's taking considerably longer than the regular ones, but with far less accuracy. After a few days, she didn't reach for these cool "girl scissors" anymore, and I don't blame her.

The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training KitThe second product that we were given to try out was the 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit. These are kind of cool. I was expecting them to be the small compact pencil grips that we used to buy at the school store for a quarter, but these are way cooler than that.

They're soft.
They're squooshy.
If you take them off the pencil and squeeze them, they almost double as a fidget toy -- but they don't even make annoying noises. And they seem to stand up to that kind of abuse pretty well. And also to the inevitable on-again-off-again can't leave it on the pencil goofiness of young children. Ours changed pencils a lot, but they didn't get misshapen. And they still fit tightly (but not too tight), even after all the abuse they've had.

You can use them in a particular order, to help train the very young, because they make it downright difficult to hold the pencil in the wrong way. I didn't worry about that because all my kids have passable pencil grips. And also these were all but snatched from my hands. Cool shapes. Bright colors. New toys... what's not to love?

They come on (cheap) pens, but we do all our work in pencil so I got rid of them. One of them died in the process (it just pulled right apart, pieces flew; one got lost, and I threw it away), but the grips are much better quality than the pens. My 7yo had a hard time keeping track of what side was "up", so I used a sharpie to give him a dot. It worked pretty well, it stayed on, and it didn't smear.

There might have been shenanigans. Possibly. Shocking, I know.
Who doesn't need three pencil grips on the same pencil?

I like the grips. I don't like the scissors at all. But the grips are fun, and I think they'd probably be useful if you have a child that needs help learning a good way to hold their pencils. If you want to see what other families in the Homeschool Review Crew thought of these products, click the banner:


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A Joyful Chaos said...

Thanks for the reviews ....

Also looking forward to coming back and reading more of your Family Central blog posts. It sounds like a great series.


Ritsumei said...

I'm glad the reviews are helpful to you! The next post in the families series should go up tomorrow morning, so it won't be a long wait at all!


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