When to use big crayons with your child
When it comes to helping your child develop their writing skills, their hand grip is a very important component. As you’re working with your child on developing those fine motor skills, you should consider using big crayons to help them learn how to grip the crayon when writing properly.
Smaller crayons allow your child to hold the crayon using the tripod grasp, but if your child has difficulty with grasping or developmental delays, then larger crayons may be the answer as they develop their abilities. A tripod grasp is when a child is able to hold their crayon with their thumb and fingers at three points. Children will need to master a dynamic tripod grasp as they start doing more advanced coloring, drawing, and writing. Children typically begin to master this around four or five years old.
- When it’s appropriate to use larger crayons
If your child is having difficulty with doing the three-point hold, they have a developmental delay that has led to delayed grasping patterns, or they are using their whole fist and whole arm to hold and use crayons, then a larger crayon can help handle that development of the fine motor skill.
- Types of larger crayons
There are several types of larger crayons on the market for you to choose from. Called “preschool crayons”, this type has a rounded back, similar to a golf ball. This promoted the thumb to be opposite the fingers, which makes your child space out their fingers. If you have older children, around 10 years old, or they have significant disabilities that impact their fine motor skills, then you can stack a few of them so they can grasp them, which promotes that open web space between their thumbs and fingers.
Another crayon to look for are the adapted crayons with ridges built into them. This is recommended if your children tend to press very hard on the crayons, or your children have sensory processing issues that relate to a difficult with modulating pressure. The thicker crayon with the ridges allows them to apply more pressure, and their triangular shape allows them to hold it correctly, even if they’ve picked it up in the wrong position. It’s all about getting them to hold the crayons in the tripod position.
These crayons are a smart investment in developing your child’s fine motor skills and writing grip. Practice makes perfect, and it’s important to be patient when helping your child develop their skills.