What’s the Write Size for handwriting?
November 07, 2016
We’ve partnered with providers of fun and educational products that we can share with our members to try out as part of our road testing programme. The latest product is called ‘Write Size’, designed to help children develop their writing skills.
The Write Size pencils are tailored to different age ranges, so that children can get to grips with writing using a handy-sized pencil just for them. We shared the various pencils with our members and they have kindly sent in their reviews, to help you decide whether Write Size could be right for your family.
Our first review comes from 10 year old Rhian:
“My name is Rhian, I am aged 10 and go to school in Milton Keynes. I am in year 6. I also go to Explore Learning at Kingston MK.
The people at Explore Learning are really helping me to get better at my school work. My handwriting is getting better. These new pencils fit in my hand really well. They are not thin like the ones my mum got me before or the horrible fat ones that my mum got me.
Over the half term, I have been writing some very interesting stories but better than that ….
I have been keeping a diary which is secret from my family. The pencils are helping me as they are making me feel more comfortable in writing because when you hold them they feel very soft. I don’t have to press so hard anymore.
I am looking forward to using these more and more.”
Natasha Dawson shared this lovely picture on Facebook of Noah and Havana using the pencils:
Jemila Yussuff also tried out the pencils with her two sons:
“The pencils came in a lovely package enclosed on a canvas drawstring bag, which I really liked. I received two packs of the pencils, the 2-6 years – Learn control and grip and the 6-10 years – Improve confidence and ability. Included in the bag was also some information about the pencils.
The first thing I liked about the pencils is that they had different colours for the different ages. That meant no fighting over the pencils as it was easy to tell them apart. The size of the pencil was perfect for my 4 year old’s small hands and easy to grip. The quality of the pencils was obvious in how chunky the pencil and lead was. This meant less breakage, less sharpening and more usage. They are not too chunky but at the same time not as slim as your regular pencil, just a good fit for smaller hands. I found them to be quite solid and durable, and sharpened well without the lead breaking inside the pencil which happened regularly with our old pencils especially if they have been dropped.
My 4 year old son is in reception and is learning to write, he has been struggling with holding his pencil and usually gets tired after a short while of practice. As soon as he saw the Write Size pencils he excitedly said these are little pencils for little people like me and he was eager to try them out. As soon as I gave the pencil to him and he held them, his grip adjusted almost naturally. I didn’t have to correct how he held it or positioned his fingers. He was happy to practice his letter writing, which is usually a chore. Usually his writing isn’t very legible, with the Write Size pencils however, he seemed more in control and was able to follow the lines in his tracing and write his alphabets more independently. His writing was actually clearer and neater. I was fascinated by his reaction to the pencils.
With my older son, who is in year 3, tends to have a weak grip and doesn’t press hard enough when writing, so his writing appears a bit faint. With the Write Size pencils however, he had a good firm grip on the pencils and he didn’t rotate the pencil as he usually does. He was actually happy writing for a longer period of time than he would usually have done, which was a pleasant surprise. He said he liked the feel of the pencil, and that it didn’t hurt his fingers like his old pencils and he actually enjoyed writing with them. Also, the lead not breaking half way was a big plus, as he usually has to spend a few good minutes sharpening the old pencils which can be a bit frustrating for him as he gets a bit impatient especially when the lead breaks in the pencil. With the Write Size pencils, even though his grip was firmer and his writing more visible, he wasn’t applying too much pressure on the pencil and he was more relaxed. It certainly made our book report time a lot more pleasant and less stressful for both of us. “
Meanwhile, Jenny Baish’s daughter was giving the 6-10 year old pencils a go:
“The Write size pencils are just the thing we have been looking for. My daughter was struggling to write for long periods saying her hand ached. Her first trial using the new pencils (aged 6 – 10) enabled her to write for over half an hour and absolutely enjoyed the results of her hard work. She found it so comfortable and was able to form her letters correctly and more flowing than before. The pencils did not make her hand ache and this is always a bonus when doing any writing task, as the least little thing would put her off writing.
She said “ these pencils are magic as they are making my hand-writing so neat”. She packed two straight into her pencil case for school – saying “I will only use these pencils from now on”. The shorter pencils meant that she had better control over her handwriting.
The pencils came in great packaging, in a canvas bag and was easy for my 7 year old to get into herself. Almost immediately her grip of the pencil improved and this lead to much more controlled writing which was clearer to read.
There are different size pencils depending on age range 2-6, 6-10 and 10+. This will ensure that you get the correct size pencil for the age range of your child. Having a made to measure product is perfect and ideal especially for younger children who are learning or struggling to write.
We noticed the pencils are much stronger and the lead did not break at all during the few hours that we have used them so far. I would however have liked a pencil sharpener to be included in the pack as the pencil sharpeners we have at home are too small for these bigger pencils, but are available in most stationery outlets.
She only uses her new Write Size pencils both at home and at school and she has asked the school council to consider getting them for everyone in the school so that everyone can benefit from having the correct size pencils for their age range.
I like the appearance of the pencils and think that they look smart and the coloured ends make them easily identifiable to both adults and children so they know which size they are to use. This range of pencils is stylish and does not draw attention to the user and are so much more comfortable to use to write with.
Using these pencils over the half term has meant that my daughter is ready to go back to school confident in her improved writing and they have given her much more confidence in her ability to write clearly and without causing the strain and uncomfortable feeling that writing with the taller pencils gave her.
I would recommend these pencils to all ages of children from those learning to write right through to the developed writer. They are comfortable and very reasonably priced, why not give your child the right tools to do the job.”
Emma Billington tried out the pencils with her daughters Mia and Lola:
“Having seen Write Size products on Dragons Den and mentioned on various parenting media outlets, I was intrigued to try them out. Luckily Explore Learning gave me the chance to put them through their paces with my daughters!
Mia (4) is left handed, and finds normal sized pencils can be tricky! She felt a lot more confident using the Write Size pencils, and liked that they were ‘tiny & cute!’
My daughter Lola (6) really enjoyed using these pencils, she liked that they were small and easy to use! She did suggest that a rubber on the end would be useful and thought the lead was a bit thick once it had worn down (which I did agree on!).
Over all, I thought they were a great idea to help encourage little ones to write with ease.”
Even in our digital age, being able to write by hand is still as important as ever. Why not check out our top tips for encouraging your child to write at home?
Discover more interesting posts from our blog
10 years of Explore Learning and NRICH
October 30, 2017
NRICH and Explore Learning are celebrating 10 years of having worked together in partnership to create the National Young Mathematicians’ Awards competition. Here,...Read this post
What is surf club?
August 22, 2018
Surf club is a fun and creative part of your child’s Explore Learning session. Lauren Rhodes, a tutor from our Stourbridge centre, explains why… Why does Explore...Read this post