One of the bittersweet moments of partnering with The Homeschool Review Crew takes place when I get to review something that I wish I had when my children were at the appropriate age for the particular product. I had one of these moments when selected to review The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors and The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit by The Pencil Grip, Inc.
Although both of the products were a hit in our house, I am going to start with scissors in my review for no reason other than their uniqueness. Having raised six children, I have experienced many moments of frustration with scissor use, everything from scissors being too dull to be effective for little hands to being sharp enough to cut hair and anything else that they can find! Pencil Grip’s Ultra Safe Safety Scissors has provided a solution to those many woes.
At first glance, the scissors looked awkward, but after sliding a piece of paper into the paper guide I experienced one of those why-didn’t-I-think-of-that moments. The scissors are small enough for smaller hands to grip properly and the blades are sharp enough to actually provide a clean cut. The guide keeps small fingers from making contact with the sharp blades, as well as toys or anything else that you do not want to be cut by the hands of a young child with scissors!
Although my children are well beyond the stage of needing monitoring with scissors, we still enjoyed using them, all of us. They worked well for all of us, better than many of the scissors we have accumulated over the years. The blade protection did not seem to inhibit a good clean cut even when doing some detailed cutting. However, it did get in the way of tiny cuts but we did not think that tiny detailed cutting would be necessary for younger children.
We really liked the scissors, but we are all skilled at using them. I decided that I needed to know how well they worked for someone with tiny hands so I headed over to a friend’s house to enlist the help of her four year old for our test. Little Ruby was handed both scissors and a piece of paper and she began cutting with ease! After sharing the I-wish-we-had-these-with-the-other-kids conversation with her momma, it was decided that the scissors were no longer mine but theirs. They have another toddler that will soon be cutting anything within reach and I know that these scissors will be very much appreciated.
In short, the Ultra Safe Safety Scissors has made my gift list for anyone I know with young children. They are available for a mere $4, which rivals the cost of child scissors anywhere.
The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit was treated with just as much delight in our home. The only real difference is that they have not left our home to live elsewhere! Like the scissors, all of my children have learned the proper writing formation and no longer need these kinds of tools.
There are three different rubber grips that slip onto the bottom of a pen or pencil to teach a child to properly grip it for writing. We spent some time at the table, trying each of them out. For us, it was a confirmation that we all hold our writing utensils properly. Afterwards, each of my three children confiscated one of the grips and has it in their pencil box. I see it come out once in a while.
I used the old fashioned large round kindergarten style pencils to teach my younger children proper writing formation. I do wish that we had something like these pencil grips instead. Each grip has a specific shape to reinforce proper positioning of fingers when writing. The first one is called their Crossover Grip and holds the fingers where they need to be. The second one is their Pinch Grip which is considered the transition grip and has a little less structure allowing a bit more freedom. The final one is their Pencil Grip which allows for more freedom and is comfortable enough to be useful for all ages.
The grip set is available for purchase online for approximately $8. Packages of individual grips are also available. We do not have any lefthanders in our home to test it out but they are known to work with both right-handed and left-handed writers.
We thoroughly enjoy the fun products that we get to periodically review. It was a delight to be able to test out products from Pencil Grip, Inc. They have a nice variety of innovative tools for learners of all ages!