Pencil Grasp Development

~ Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 8:04 AM ~

A few weeks ago, a mummy friend of ours asked me to recommend the appropriate materials for drawing or writing. I shared to her one of the advice I got from my SIL who has loads of experience!

Use big size marker pens (non-toxic and best if easy to wipe off types)

To be honest, I never thought such tip would make any difference! I have previously tried on all sorts of activities for my 3.5 years old boy and also got myself frustrated when I see my boy not holding the pencil/pen properly. A friend shared this article with me and I was relieved to note that my boy is actually on the right track - in terms of his pencil grasp development.

Next step was I realised giving him doodling exercises like drawing lines, coloring, dot-to-dot does not make significant results until I applied my SIL's tip above. I took the leap of faith and gave my boy a red colored marker pen. Non-toxic ones of course!

I had previously refrained myself and my boy from touching a marker pen as I am really worried seeing marker pen stains all over my wall, furnitures and etc. Hence the leap of faith... So when I decided to give my boy the red marker pen, I sat right next to him and gently remind him to only use the marker pen on papers and books.

The first few times he was given the red marker pen, you can see his face beaming as he doodled and colors the white paper. Red bright thick ink flew across the paper and I then realised I should have done this earlier.

Why red? It is an eye catching color and also Ben's favorite color.

Why marker pen? It's ink is thick and the marker pen size is big, good for toddler to hold and grasp with their small fingers. It gives them confidence to hold a big pen - easier too I realised.

That's when I think back of all the wasted time and money I spend on getting my boy to use children color pencils or small size colored pens... I mean, they are good but not appropriate for his age now. At least not until he mastered his pencil grasp skills.

So now whenever I let my boy doodles, I gave him the red colored marker pen to use. I'm not too worried about the results of his doodling and drawing yet (there are parents who are very concerned that their child must be able to draw straight lines etc etc), my objective now is to ensure my boy mastered his pencil grasp skills.

You see the pictures below? You see how my boy holds the marker pen? That is the right way to hold the pen for his age, you know?

So, yeah, what I'm trying to say in this post is,

If you want your child to learn to write/draw,

build up their pencil grasp skills first,

before spending unnecessarily on tools which are not age/phase appropriate!

Just my 2 cents... That's all the updates I can share for now, feel free to ask and share if you have feedback!

Comments (8) -

Michelle Toh

like your sharing very much. i have learn a lot thro' your posting.  Please share more, i am considering to home  school my 3 years old boy too next year.

I hope can have your guidance thro' out this.

Please may i know what is the 1st step that i should take and what are the materials i must look into.

Thank you.  I really really love reading your posting.


oh thanks for the tips.. maybe I should also try this too!


He's doing so well! I can't even draw a straight line myself. @@


Thank you so much for the tips!  It's really helpful.  Now I know that I only have to buy one marker instead of different types of pencils for a start.

prince n princess mum

Very nice activity for the kids..


Thanks for the tips. Must bring out the marker pen already. Smile

miki chua

aiya.. my marker pen too wonder hard for him to hold~~
thx for sharing!

Cheng Wei Chiew

Cheng Wei Chiew says:

Yup my girl likes marker pens too Smile

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