A good eraser can make a frustrated child more willing to fix writing errors. A bad eraser confirms their failure as a writer.
Occupational therapists in some schools hand out HWT pencils and a variety of pencil grips like candy, but many forget about how important it is for kids to erase mistakes successfully in order for their work to be truly legible. The Pentel Hi-Polymer eraser is the one that gets the job done.
I will confess that I did not discover this eraser on my own. A smart parent turned me onto this amazing school tool, and I am over the moon about how much it helps children complete their writing assignments. It would be almost criminal to let kids go back to school this fall with those nasty pink erasers that leave more of a mess than they remove! Every kid needs this eraser, but kids with handwriting challenges need them even more.
Here is a visual example of how well this eraser works. I used my fave mechanical pencil for younger children, the one I blogged about in Great Mechanical Pencils Can Improve Your Child’s Handwriting Skills , and wrote a few numbers in the darkly shaded boxes of a Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) sheet. I erased my “5′ and “6”. Notice that the shading in the boxes wasn’t removed along with the pencil marks:
Here are a few reasons to add this eraser to your back-to-school list:
- While large enough for small hands to use, it is not so big that it is difficult for children to control. Think erasing isn’t an important motor skill? Take a look at Teach Your Kindergartener How To Erase Like a Big Kid
- It is latex-free; a necessity for children with latex sensitivity.
- There are fewer eraser “crumbs” created during use, so less mess (for parents) to clean up, and less visual and tactile distractions for kids with ADHD, SPD and ASD.
- This eraser doesn’t require substantial pressure to remove marks. Great for kids with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, JRA, and all the other conditions where strength and endurance are concerns for handwriting.
- Because of it’s softness and effectiveness, it rarely tears paper, even the cheap, thin paper commonly used for school worksheets and workbooks.
Pentel Hi-Polymer erasers are very affordable, and commonly come in packs of three. This is helpful when you know in your heart that the first two will be lost before the week is over, never to be seen again. When your child realizes that this eraser helps them finish their homework a bit faster (you might want to mention this if they don’t notice it right away), they will work harder to hold onto that last one!
There are a few situations in which not erasing is a better choice than erasing. Read When Should You Tell A Child NOT to Erase Their Mistake? to learn more!
Thank you for this! As an OT I know some therapists and teacher struggle with “permitting” students to erase. So many struggling writers get caught up with perfection that often the strategy is to use no eraser, keep writing. Often, ten minutes will go by and three holes in the paper later there is not much content generated. However, I am a softie, if they want to erase I think we can teach kids to erase and write without the extreme sacrifice. I know these erasers firsthand it this is an awesome recommendation! My daughters actually chose these on their own at store so I can’t take credit for the discovery either. Thank you for a great post! Erasing, how and when and how much is a definite skill.
Thank you for your comment. I don’t understand why erasing is discouraged, as seeing the mistakes will reinforce the error into memory. Please share your success with this eraser with teachers and parents so kids have a chance to build their skills!