Stabilo EasyOriginal Ergonomic Pen Review
Stabilo has given its EasyOriginal ergonomic pen, formerly known as the 'S Move Easy, a facelift. To be honest, I'm not sure exactly what that means apart from the pen having a bigger lid now than before. Which is of itself a nice touch, making it easier to keep track of the lid, for instance.
Writing is easy, except when you're first learning. It is hard to remember back that far now, but if you've got little ones yourself you'll know that it can be struggle sometimes to grip the pen, put pressure on the page, and master the strokes needed.
For some children it is even harder. It isn't uncommon for many children to have difficulty with fine motor skills. I know this because my son is currently going through occupational therapy to help with just such a problem. The good news is that they usually catch up between the ages of eight to ten. The bad news is that this early inability is so discouraging for them.
I've tried the various pencil options that are around, but he barely touched them. Part of his problem involves an inability to put any pressure on the pencil while moving it, so the triangular shaped chunky pencils didn't really help.
Stabilo sent a pink version of the EasyOriginal, which was a bit unfortunate. At five and a half he has developed an aversion to anything that's too girly. However he didn't even seem to notice this when I handed it to him. He had decorated a birthday card for a friend's birthday, and was at the point where we needed to write the message inside.
He was a bit surprised at the feel of the pen. I guided his fingers to the right positions on the pen itself, and he got that right away. Because of the way these are designed, his fingers stayed where they were, and didn't move as he moved the pen. This made it easier for him to manipulate it. Stabilo say that this "moulded grip and slightly arched shape allows children to hold the pen in a correct manner without any strain."
The roller ball tip was also easy for him to manipulate, without having to put a lot of pressure on the paper. When he'd finished, without a second thought he clicked the lid back on again. That might sound like a simple thing for most children, but for those that have problems with fine motor skills it is a big deal. He was instantly more confident, and more inclined to try to draw or write with this pen.
After the birthday card we drew pirate treasure maps!
On the downside, I wasn't thrilled with the ink. This was a bit 'sticky'. Sometimes the roller ball didn't work at all, with no ink coming out, then suddenly more would come out than should. This left a bit of an uneven mess at times. I don't know if this is a problem with the roller ball, or with just the cartridge I was using though.
The pen came with three cartridges of blue ink. These, along with the pen, are enclosed within a plastic container that is inserted into a small stand. This acts as storage for the spare cartridges, and also as a place to keep the pen if you want.
The pen is approved by the National Handwriting Association. It is, according to the manufacturer, the world's first left and right handed rollerball. Stabilo claim it teaches children how to hold a pen in the most comfortable and productive way.
The Stabilo EasyOrginal ergonomic pen has a recommended retail price of £6.67 including VAT. All pens come with erasable royal blue ink as standard. Black and red refills are sold separately. The EasyOriginal is available in pink, orange, blue, green and yellow. All color combinations have a space for a name tag, which are included in the package.