At What Stage of Development Do Children Connect a Paper & Crayon?

By Daisy Peasblossom Fernchild
Fat crayons are less likely to break than thin ones.
Fat crayons are less likely to break than thin ones.

Using crayons requires developing fine motor skills. According to the website MedlinePlus, Most toddlers can grasp a chubby crayon and make scribbles on paper by age 2. By age 3, they can draw circles, by age 4 a square, by age 5 a triangle. Remember that young children have short attention spans. Also, parental example is an important influence when it comes to using art supplies. Children learn to use tools and art supplies by imitating others.

Age 2

Two-year-old children are usually not ready to draw representational drawings. However, they can have fun making scribbles and using different colors. Fat crayons make satisfying lines. Peeled, broken crayons can be turned on their sides and rubbed over paper placed on textured surfaces. Coloring times should be kept very short, 15 minutes or less. Use heavy paper with a good tooth that will accept color easily. When art time is over, put the crayons and paper away for next time.

Age 3

Three-year-old artists can draw a circle. They can use three crayons taped together to draw a rainbow. Peeled crayons or chunk crayons rubbed over textures are still appealing at this age. They can connect circular shapes to draw a person that has two or three parts. Threes can also begin learning to use blunt scissors and can use glue sticks under supervision, which opens up craft possibilities that include easy cutting and gluing. They can help put away their own supplies.

Age 4

At age 4, young artists can draw a square. They can make representational drawings of themselves. If they have had the opportunity to practice, most can cut in a straight line and can use paste or a glue stick with reasonable control. They will still enjoy making rubbings or using a bundle of crayons to make multiple lines at the same time. They may try to draw pictures of their family and friends, although the shapes will still be rudimentary. They can assist with cleanup.

Age 5

Five-year-old artists are able to add triangles to their repertoire of shapes. They enjoy rubbings, make representational drawings of themselves, their families and other things. Some will be able to cut along a line, and can glue with control. They enjoy large projects, such as decorating an outline of themselves drawn on large paper. Bundled crayons are still fun, as are block crayons made from melted pieces of broken crayons. Some will still enjoy scribbling across pictures in a coloring book, while others will begin coloring within the lines. With prompting, they can put away their own supplies.

About the Author

Daisy Peasblossom Fernchild has been writing for over 50 years. Her first online publication was a poem entitled "Safe," published in 2008. Her articles specialize in animals, handcrafts and sustainable living. Fernchild has a Bachelor of Science in education and a Master of Arts in library science.