Which Paper and Pencils to use with Early Writers?

Year Level: Early Years, Foundation, Year 1 & 2

A fact sheet which identifies a methodical stage-based sequence to identifying the types of paper and pencils to use with early writers.

This download includes:

  • Paper choice guide
  • Which pencils to choose
  • 24mm spaced lined paper template
  • 18mm spaced lined paper template
  • 24mm dotted thirds template
  • 24mm Earth paper template
  • 18mm Earth paper template

There is no research or evidence currently available to help us determine which type of paper to use and when. Children who are competent writers are usually able to use any type of paper. It is often helpful to consider the skill levels of the children in considering your selection. Utilise the pre-writing, letter formation and pencil control accuracy tasks to determine the best paper match for the child.

However, there is considerable research in the area of developmental hand function that indicates that children’s hands are not suiciently developed to manipulate small tools in a controlled manner. The very fine muscles in the hand that assist with very fine smooth movements are still maturing. To this end wide diameter pencils, crayons and pens are recommended.

In addition, it is very common for a child who has begun to use a tripod grasp to manipulate pencil to revert to a poor grasp when struggling to control the pencil to form letters. A large grip writing tool helps the child’s to maintain a good grasp of the pencil whilst they learn and master letter formations. They also help prevent fatigue in the hand as the writing demands increase. If large width pencils are not available consider purchasing pencil grips to expand the diameter of the child’s pencil.

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