Most preschoolers with older siblings are aware that the “big kids” use pencils for their homework. Just like the fight to avoid the booster seat, older toddlers and preschoolers aspire to the next stage of development. The problem with using #2 pencils before kindergarten? Many children do not have the required small muscle strength and control to use them well, and drop into a fisted grasp. As a pediatric occupational therapist, I am aware that a poor grip is not the end of the world, but it can make a slow writer slower and sloppier. It can mean that a child’s hands get tired and they give up before the assignment is done. This creates lots of arguments during homework time. Wouldn’t it be better to spend a little more energy in preschool developing hand control so this is not an issue later? These Crayola Easy-Grip Colored Pencils allow a young child to feel more mature by using a tool for older children, and have success designed inside.
The best features:
- triangular shape gives small hands three flat surfaces to place the pads of their fingers. More square footage gives more sensory feedback.
- Short shafts discourage a fisted grip and match the smaller hands of younger children.
- Thicker lead minimizes tip breakage, but you can still use the larger opening on a regular sharpener to get a fine point if desired.
- coloring pictures within the lines and with the contours of the designs is terrific strengthening and motor planning for little hands! I feel that coloring is totally underrated by most adults. Hint: coloring with your child, describing in a play-by-play manner what strokes(vertical, horizontal, circular) you use and why, is absolutely magic. Children really want to see what you do, see you make mistakes and deal with it, etc. Youaren’t wasting your time, you are investing this skill with meaning and teaching without realizing it.
This box of pencils is very affordable; combined with the Melissa and Doug coloring pads (posted December 2014) it is a wonderful gift for a 3-5 year old at a very reasonable price!