Holding Pencil/Cayon - Not a debate

[deleted account] ( 11 moms have responded )

I posted this in the preemie communities that I belong to but I'm also going to post it here because some of you mentioned being/having experience in the teaching or ECE fields. Any suggestions would be welcome.

I'm asking this question for my cousin who is a preemie mom as well. Her son is now 4 yrs old and refuses to hold a pencil/crayon - just seeing crayons and paper results in screaming and crying. He had issues with his soft spot, at birth it extended all the way from the front to the back of his head and it didn't completely harden until he was over 2 yrs old. Because of this it caused iritation to the brain that resulted in him thinking that he can't do certain things. He is capable of doing them, his brain just sends a signal that says he can't so he's way behind in motor skills - he just learned to dress himself and do up a zipper. He sees therapists for help but so far they've had no luck in getting him to hold on to a pencil or crayon. He has another appointment with his specialist in three months and my cousin was told that she had that long to get him to hold and use a crayon. She's tried everything but her son refuses, like I said when he sees paper and crayons, he pitches a fit. He'll be starting school next year and obviously needs this skill. Does anyone have any tricks/ideas/thoughts on how she can get him to even try to hold a crayon?


Katherine - posted on 11/29/2010




Break them all in half. Get the golf sized pencils--less intimidating :)
Plus it makes them hold it the right way. Actually have HIM break them all in half. Fun, fun, fun.

Louise - posted on 11/30/2010




Buy a cheap easel and some ready made paint pots and trays and start by letting him finger paint and then introduce patterned rollers and thick brushes, when he has got the hang of that then introduce thin brushes. Move on gradually to large felt tips and then move to pencils. Once he has proven to himself he can do this he will be well away. The easel is none threatening and painting can be done outside if you wish.

Sharon - posted on 11/29/2010




Put him with other kids who are coloring and drawing.

Sit with him and draw a bird, a tree, grandma etc. Hopefully he'll get enticed and try to pick up a crayon or marker on his own.

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JuLeah - posted on 11/30/2010




Wow .... maybe get some of the bath tub crayons and let him play in the tub. Maybe get some sidewalk chalk and let him play. Practice eye hand cordination with bubbles - let him catch them. Have him use small motor while playing with playdoe .... finger paint will get him use to paper and making marks .... as he get good with finger pain, hand him a brush and let him practice using a tool to make marks .... let him use markers to write on his mom (really) they wash off and he will think it is a hoot. Take pictures of the tattoos for all to see.
Ya gotta by pass the single in his brain - or 'trick' him by having him to the skill without him knowing he is doing the skill ..... good luck

Bonnie - posted on 11/30/2010




Maybe if it was made to be more fun for him it would help. The Megna Doodle idea is a really good one. There are stores that sell (I think it's by Crayola) markers or crayons that are really fat, so they are easier to hold on to and are shaped like people. Maybe get him to try those. They don't look like something you would draw or write with so it may help.

[deleted account]

Ooh, that's a good idea Katherine. There are these crayons I've seen for sale here in Aus called Crayon Rocks, they are small rock shaped crayons (duh, huh) that are supposedly easier for little hands to grab and encourage correct handling.

Turns out they are made in the USA, here's their website:

Meghan - posted on 11/29/2010




YES! Megna doodle! My son didn't have "problems" with coloring, just zero interest. He got a mini megna doodle for his bday and he plays with it ALL the time now. I am going to get him an aquadoodle for Christmas too- another plus, no need to worry about scribbles on the wall or eating the crayon.

[deleted account]

My cousin has custody of her 3 yr old nephew as well. He loves to colour and draw but the 4 yr old still won't try.

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