25 answers

Crayons for 1-Year-old

My son is 13 months, and I had read something recently that was saying a one-year-old should be starting to color. We have tried the skinny bathtub crayons (he tried to eat them), regular crayons (tried to eat them and bang them on the table), and those round crayons that look like some kind of animal and just the tip sticks out (he tried to eat them). I am just curious if there is a different kind that he might be more successful with, or if we should just keep trying. We model it, trying to show him what to do, but he's not getting it yet. Any suggestions??

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So What Happened?™

Thank you for all your responses! That was very helpful! I agree with not pushing it. My son is definitely not a "by-the-book" kid, and that's just fine! That's what makes him special! I was just curious if there was something out there that was successful. We will probably put them away for a little while longer, and I will try markers too. That was a good suggestion. We tried those round animal markers when we got the matching crayons, but -again- he just tried to eat them, which left him with a colorful face! Thank you again for all your help! Have a great day!

Featured Answers

J.,
Have you tried an Auqadoodle? Since the "ink" is water it wouldn't be a big thing if he tasted it. Happy coloring!

I hate when you read stuff like that. As they grow, you will read when they should know their letters, numbers, how to write their name etc... and it can drive you mad! My son was closer to 2 before I really started him with art work. He would just eat whatever I gave him before them.

i, I agree with all that has been said, however I do advise that you stick with the chunkier crayons one he is ready. The cunky versions of anything at this age will help strengthen his fine motor skills.

For other ideas and tips visit my website at www.kidtastik.com

More Answers

J., I would just keep trying and take them away if he starts to eat them. My daughter is 18months and really didn't start coloring well until she was 16months. She did do better with the stamps at about 13months than with crayons. They are the ta-doodles? Is that what they are called? Can't remember, but they are the animal round things. She liked them better because she could bang them on the table. Plus she figured out how they worked and liked to stamp her fingers. We had many days of purple and red thumbs! But that's all part of the fun!

He will get it! :)

I use Ferby short pencils by Lyra for my son. He also eats crayons. The Ferby pencils are fat for little hands to hold and they color much better than regular pencils, so he can get some color on the page for his effort. You can buy them off the internet from Amazon. He has also started using water color paints with lots of water. This needs a lot more supervision but he loves it. He tried to eat this too.
Happy coloring...

All kids try to eat things at that age...only give it to him when you are sitting right with him...also try the JUMBO crayons and Crayola also makes jumbo triangle crayons....easier to grip...I saw them in publix. If he's not interested...put them away for a month or so and try again.....every child is NOT by the book.....let them guide you and enjoy!!!

Give him another month or two and try again. My son (now almost 15 mos.) did the same thing a few months ago, and now he magically just started coloring the other day. Of course, I still have to make sure he's not eating them!!!! : )

Maybe you should try markers. I think they are easier because they can not be eaten the way crayons can and you do not need to press as hard. I love the Crayola washable pip-squeak markers, they wash of things really easily. It took a while for my daughter to get it, but keep at it.

My son is 3 1/2 and doesn't necessarily care for coloring. Do not worry if he isn't interested at 13 months and don't force it either.

Crayola does sell big crayons and some that are triangle shaped. I also just discovered that they now have jumbo crayons. They are HUGE and I think it would take a lot to break them.

I also have a 13month old. We started him out with edible fingerpainting (pudding and food coloring). He still gets to use his finger and develop his motor skills and eat the paint without us worrying about it. We're adding edible play dough next which will also help his development. There are different recipes online. The crayons may need to wait until he's a little older and not putting everything in his mouth as my son does at this age also.

Don't let the "supposed to" stuff bother you. My 2.5 year old daughter has always been advanced in language. I know she is smart, but she took for EVER to color. I did everything you've done, but she just didn't want to color. She eventually began coloring and loves it. It just had to be when she was ready, and she was around 2 when that happened. Taking her to story time I think helped out, because she saw all the other kids coloring a craft after the stories were read. Crayola makes a twist crayon that they can't eat. Well, for the most part it can't be eaten. They are plasic with a crayon core that you can expose by twisting. Please don't worry too much. He's still young.

I had the same problem! I tried every crayon under the sun and he ate them all. I bought washable markers and they work better- he likes them better, they don't seem as eatable and they wash off!

Get him a magnadoodle- my 2 year old twins are hooked on them, and there's no mess or problems if they chew on the pen!

J.,
Have you tried an Auqadoodle? Since the "ink" is water it wouldn't be a big thing if he tasted it. Happy coloring!

I would just back off on the issue for a bit. My son was the same way. It was a stressful waste of time for us, until he was a little older. My daughter on the other hand, was a whiz with crayons at an early age. It just depends on the child (or perhaps the gender?). Play with playdoh instead, is my suggestion... or if you really want to continue with the drawing efforts, use a magnadoodle type toy instead... he can't eat that. lol

Don't worry--he'll do it when he's ready! I don't think either of mine did anything but eat them at that age. At 20 months, my son just started to get it--and he has a big sister!

It helps to only give them one at a time, and it helps if you draw something before you hand it over. Try basic shapes or whatever he likes--we draw trucks for my son. They're not great, but he loves them!

Don't pressure yourself about it. It's fun :-)

Some kids are more oral than others and still put everything in their mouths at that age-- that's why most crayons are non-toxic (and I don't think they contain red dye #40-- haha) Just be sure to buy safe brands like Crayola. If he's not interested, don't push it. But when he's ready, you can try markers, too (washable/non-toxic) and eventually washable paint --dip the brush into some paint and hand it to him-- an easel is best for this, so wait until he is a bit older and steady on his feet-- if you don't want to buy an easel, just tape paper on the fridge-- wipes clean easier than the wall

I started my daughter on markers at 1. Crayola makes the Color Wonder markers that don't make any mess on Color Wonder paper. Aquadoodle is also mess free (as long as he can't open the twist top to dump the water). Crayons aren't the only option for getting a child to color :)

Good luck.

Hi J.! I know I'm late to respond, but I just wanted to tell you that my son was the same way with crayons. He just wanted to eat them, and even as he got a little older, for a while he still had no interest in coloring. I think he didn't have the attention span. And then when he started to like it, he wanted to color on the walls! :) I got him those Color Wonder coloring books and markers (made by Crayola), because they only write on the special paper, not on walls. He loved those. The only problem is that they're EXPENSIVE! I think the cheapest I've found is at Wal-Mart (maybe $6 and change for a coloring book and six markers), then Target (I think $7.99). But you might want to skip them because I hate spending the money on them! :) I kind of wish I never got started on them, because now he's fine with regular crayons and markers, but he still LOVES those Color Wonder coloring books and will beg for one when we're at Target! :) So maybe it's better to stick with the chunky washable crayons and markers. This is a great time to stock up, with the back-to-school prices. I don't know if it's still going on, but Publix was just selling washable markers for $3.99, buy one, get one free. And I think Target has good prices on art supplies right now, for back-to-school. My sister and I stock up when the stuff is on sale and hide it in the closet, then use it as needed. The funny thing is, now my son LOVES to color! I never thought I'd see the day, because for the longest time, he was just too hyper to sit there and color. I used to laugh at myself for bringing him to craft day with my moms group or at the library, because he would just run around like a maniac and never participate! But sometime around age three, he began to love stuff like that! Now he'll color several times a day, for at least 20-30 minutes at a time. I love it, because I love to color with him! :) Sorry I'm babbling-- I just wanted to tell you that my son went from eating crayons to having no patience for coloring to loving it! In fact, he loves it so much now (at nearly four) that, when family or friends asked me for suggestions for his birthday in two weeks, I said coloring stuff! :) Enjoy your sweet little guy-- boys are fun, aren't they?

i, I agree with all that has been said, however I do advise that you stick with the chunkier crayons one he is ready. The cunky versions of anything at this age will help strengthen his fine motor skills.

For other ideas and tips visit my website at www.kidtastik.com

I wouldn't worry about it or push it. My advice would be to stop trying, for now, and re-introduce them in a month or two. My grandson is 22 months, and has been using crayons for about 4-6 months, I'd say.

We started with the clunky, animal shaped, crayons (the ones you mentioned) at a year old and even now, almost a year later, he doesn't really like those. We've also used the fat crayons that are supposed to be easier to grip. However, ultimately, my son prefers normal crayolas. The more the better...and he breaks them all in half. :) He really didn't care for coloring much at all between 12-18 months. At most he would color for 10 minutes or so if we were out at a restaurant that offered crayons. However, in the last few months he has become a coloring maniac. :) He demands his box of crayons several times a day and will color for 15-20 mins each time.

I would not push it for now, but maybe try again once a month or so and just watch how he reacts and look for greater interest.

I also found it helpful to get a large, clear, pencil box to dump all his crayons in. He LOVES that box and even enjoys putting the crayons back in when he's done. I also bought a large roll of white butcher paper from Sam's club. This way I can tear off a big sheet for him to color on without trying to stay on a little sheet of paper. I carry steno pads with us when we go out, as well as one of those little packs of free crayons from Publix since he often enjoys coloring when we are out and about.

Enjoy your little guy. Boys are so much fun!

Just keep trying. Don't drive yourself crazy..just give them to him for a few minutes per day and watch him. I actually had the same exact problem. My son just turned 18 mos and when we first started to "practice our scribbles" he would automatically just try and eat the crayons (all of the types that you mentioned). I would color in a book beside him or on a sheet of paper and give him crayons so that he could color too. He had no interest. He would sometimes just press the crayon to the page leaving a dot. I would say "Yay" to try and encourage him to keep going. I would always have to take the crayons away after a few minutes because he become so intent on eating the crayon. We had our first success with the bathtub crayons. Although he would (and actually still occasionally) tries to eat the crayons...he made his first scribbles on the bathtub wall. Now he actually will draw lines/scribbles on his floating alphabet letters etc. I just would offer them every day..do a couple of scribbles. If all he would do is try and eat it, take them away, play with something else and start again the next day. I believe the reason that we want them to use crayons is to help them to develop their fine motor skills. I gave my son a few peg puzzles and he will take hold of the peg to remove the cutouts pieces etc. He loves them. I know some other mommas that give their children stickers to play with. That helps as well (removing and applying the stickers). However, my son wants to chew them as well so we don't play with stickers yet. Good luck. He will get there.

Wow, my hats off to you for wanting to try so early. Take it from me, if you put the crayons up for the next six months to a year until he stops trying to eat them, he will be fine and not delayed one bit. At this age most children cannot hold a crayon, pen, etc... correctly and really do not have the skills to color a picture.

Just keep trying. It takes time. All kids want to start out by eating the crayons.

I actually found that my girls started out much quicker with washable markers because they didn't have to push so hard on the paper to make a mark. Once they mastered that the crayons were far more interesting to them.

I'm sure this has already been said, but just because you read that this is something 1 year olds should do doesn't mean your son should do it.

If he wants to color with crayons, good. If he doesn't good. Trying to "force" him to color because you think there's something wrong with him if he doesn't doesn't help you or him (it won't work anyway, or all you'll accomplish is that he'll do it to please you, which really isn't your goal).

I bet he has many other ways of being creative!

I hate when you read stuff like that. As they grow, you will read when they should know their letters, numbers, how to write their name etc... and it can drive you mad! My son was closer to 2 before I really started him with art work. He would just eat whatever I gave him before them.

His response to crayons tells you age 1 is too early for crayons. At this age they put EVERYTHING in their mouths, and crayons is one thing they shouldn't. He'll try eating the paper too, I guess. You said it yourself, "He doesn't get it"
Use bulding blocks You can count them, teach colors, shapes, height. Plus, they're harder to eat! :)

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