At What Age Kids Should Start to Hold Pencils?


When Can Kids Start Using Pencil To Write?

In recent years, you may have seen even a 3-years-old child are told to write alphabets and numbers by pencil.
But, is it right? Is it safe for their underdevelopment wrist and fingers?
Today, I am writing this post after my personal study on this topic as I felt many parents are not aware of right age to make their child write using a pencil.

Scribbling by Crayon Vs Writing by Pencil: What is the difference?

By the age of 18 months, your baby will start taking interest in the colors and scribbling.
As a crayon doesn’t need fine motor skills of fingers like you need to write using a pencil, you may let your child scribble using crayons. But let the baby figure out how to hold it and scribble, not only because it’s fun to watch your little one explore but also let him/her find a comfortable holding posture of his fist.


Sometimes, skinny crayons can be difficult to hold and hang onto the hands. So, try to commence this journey providing thicker crayons.
So, the point to make here is, scribbling by crayons can be started by as early as 18 months.

When Should Your Little One Be Given A Pencil To Write?

There is a fine line between squiggle and proper writing putting enough efforts. When you start this journey by letting them holding crayons, his/her grip becomes better and hand-eye coordination is improved. It’s very important to consider a child’s understanding of things before making him write using a pencil. If he understands that certain marks are symbols and they represent something, it’s the right age to encourage him to write using a pencil.

pencil writing

According to the doctors and few studies, children do not develop enough strength and motor skills before 4 years. In the beginning, children usually develop an immature grip using all the five fingers. But, the right way to grip a pencil is using just three fingers – index, thumb and middle finger, which children are capable of when they are around 5 or 6-year-old. Motor skills are developed naturally you don’t have to teach kids to hold pencils and write. But to help them start with scribbling with crayons and later with writing with pencils, you can introduce many fun activities to your child like play dough, puzzles, blocks, etc. These activities will also provide strength to your child’s finger muscles.

Some Tips for the Parents Whose Child is Ready to Hold and Use a Pencil

• Don’t force them to develop a grip; the natural process is only enough.
• Introduce activities like play dough, beading, sand play
• Don’t be in a hurry to make your baby start writing; Before the age of 5 years, don’t force to develop motor and gross skills
• Children can be introduced with blackboard and sand rather than a desk

In India, many schools overlook this fact and just to impress the parents about how their school is smarter, they make toddlers write sheets full of letters and numbers. But as a smart parent, you should let your kids start it at the right age.


About Author


An IT professional, a mom of two, Sapana had belly-only pregnancies in her life & has lost 15Kg weight twice. Along with fitness, Sapana is an expert in Indian names & has helped scores of Indian parents to shortlist suitable baby names by virtue of her years of expertise in Sanskrit origin names & logical approach towards cultures & trends during the name research. Drop a comment to get help from her.


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