I remember my days in nursery vaguely, but I do remember the fact that we used regular pencils to write as soon as we were sent to school. It was the same when my younger brother or cousins went to school, and I am sure it was the same for all you parents out there too.
For the past few years there have been a lot of research and classroom experiments being done, that have dramatically changed the system of education and our outlook towards learning. If your child goes to a progressive school in today’s times, you would know exactly what I am talking about.
Researchers understood the growth and development pattern of the little ones and have brought many things to light. One such thing is the fact that the nerve endings in your child’s hands are still quite sensitive till the age of 4 to 5. Therefore, not too much pressure must be put on them. It affects the brain functioning and dexterity of the hands.
After understanding this, schools realised that certain kind of activities are more advisable for the children aged 3-5 years, for example colouring with thick crayons, finger printing, hand painting, etc. I will talk about some such activities in my next blog in detail.
If your child is between 2-3 years and wishes to draw or scribble something, kindly provide him with thicker wax crayons or thick bark pencil that are available in the market. Between the age of 3-4, begin by building the finger dexterity, by focusing on a number of activities like clay modeling, tearing and pasting, hand painting, finger printing, etc and continue with thicker crayons and bark pencils.
When you see that the grip of your child is more stable, then hand out thinner crayons and round smooth pencils. Please do not hand over sketch pens at this age. If the child works with them, his grip will get affected as he will try to hold it using the complete palm and not just two fingers.
As you see the grip getting better, then you can provide the child with colour pencils (which require more pressure than crayons), tripod pencils and at times, sketch pens to work with. At this stage, you can also provide your child paint brushes to work with.
In my next post I will talk about building the fine motor skills of children at this age and some activities that you can do at home, easily with your child. Stay tuned!