I know, you hate it when kids break stuff. It means toys have been ruined and money wasted.
But, thank goodness, it’s not true when it comes to crayons! They are actually better when they’re broken.
Kids develop the ability to grasp and use a writing utensil in a fairly predictable progression, as demonstrated in the picture below (though there is some variation in names used for the first three grasps):
Sometimes, however, kids will get “stuck” in one grasp and have a hard time trying out more mature grasps. The solution?
Give them a crayon that’s been broken in half.
This naturally encourages them to “pinch” the crayon between their thumb and index finger, moving them into a more mature and skilled grasp pattern. The reason is simple — it’s hard to use a cylindrical or digital grasp on a short crayon.
Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself.
I actually encourage parents of young kids to break crayons in half in order to promote more mature grasp patterns as they develop their fine motor skills (be sure to remove the paper, though). And, as an added bonus, it gives you twice as many crayons so there are more to go around!
So the next time you feel the urge to go out and buy more crayons because the ones you have at home are broken, think again! Those broken, washed up crayons are just waiting to be used to help your little ones with the development of their fine motor skills.
Photo credit for image 2.