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Teaching Toddlers How to Use Crayons

written by: Sharon Dominica • edited by: Patricia Gable • updated: 9/11/2012

This article on "Teaching Toddlers Crayons" has a collection of tips and activities that you can use to help your toddler learn and develop crayon use.

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    Scribbling with crayons is one of the first writing skills that a toddler develops. Crayons are a great way to introduce early writing n a fun and interesting way. Crayons are much easier to write with than pens or pencils because they have a larger writing surface area. Moreover, crayons are non-toxic and cannot get on clothes and skin, and are thus safer for children to use. Crayons also give opportunities to children to use and experiment with a variety of colors. This article suggests some ideas for activities for teaching toddlers crayons and how to use them.

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    Activities to Help Develop Crayon Use

    Scribbling Art

    Initially when children learn to color, they just scribble, or draw few lines on the paper. At this stage their drawing may not look very beautiful or attractive. To make these drawings look more interesting, you can cut out pieces of the paper they colored in different shapes and glue them on to darker colored paper or colored paper.

    Wax painting:

    When children color on white paper, they often try out the color white and find that it doesn’t work. This is often a cause for frustration. Here is one interesting activity that children can do with a white crayon. Allow the child to scribble on the white paper with a wax crayon. Then, mix some watercolor paints and dilute them. Allow the child to run a paintbrush with dilute watercolor over their drawing. They will start seeing the lines they drew. Watching the lines appear “magically" is something the children will love.

    Coloring Pages

    Printed coloring pages are one of the traditional ways of teaching crayon use. However this method has some advantages as well as some disadvantages. Staying inside the lines can be a challenge for some children, and can make coloring a frustrating activity for them. Also, some teachers feel that coloring pages and books inhibit the creativity and originality of the child. They also put high standards of drawing for the children. However, if used wisely, coloring pages can be fun for children. Provide younger children with simpler pictures, and don’t penalize them for getting out of the lines. Also balance coloring book coloring with free and imaginative drawing.

    Coloring with Symbols:

    This is one technique that can be used to make coloring pictures more interesting. Make little symbols inside each coloring space in the picture. Use a legend on the side to allot one color for every symbol. The children have to look at the symbol, and use the legend to find the right color. Keep the number of symbols between 2 and 3 to start with.

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    Teaching Toddlers to Use Crayons on Paper:

    One common issue that comes up while teaching toddlers to use crayons is that children start using crayons on the walls, tables and good books. Here are some ideas to prevent furniture, walls and valuables from getting damaged. Use a table with newspaper or other paper spread on it when you do artwork. Encourage the child to stay within the sheet of paper you have given him/her and not go out on the protective newspaper spread on the table. Keep all crayons in a box or pen stand, and keep it away from the child’s reach once coloring time is over. However, some teachers believe that proving crayons and coloring sheets, and paper in an easily accessible place is better for the child’s development. Giving the child a “coloring book" to color in, may also help. Whenever the child wants to color, provide paper immediately instead of delaying it, so that they don’t find other surfaces to color on. In spite of all this, your child is likely to run the crayon over some walls or some good books. When it happens, tell your child gently to ask for paper when he wants to color, and get the child involved in the process of cleaning up.

    Thus these are some ideas to get children that you can use for teaching toddlers crayons. Hope these ideas were useful for you. For more ideas related to teaching and early childhood education, continue to browse through