For first-time writers — you need a thick-grip pencil with the right kind of “led” that won’t roll of the workstation.
Having the right writing tool for the job makes it that much easier — penciling the ABCs, crunching the 123s, and developing my very own handwriting style…
Make one of these writer’s pencils (designed specifically for young children) unlock “The Literate Child’s Pencil & Paper Superpowers”.
Affiliate Link Disclosure – If you see a product you like and click through to buy it, I would genuinely appreciate it. I may earn a small commission — at no extra cost to you. It would mean a lot, thanks!
Best Writing Pencil for Toddlers (2-5 Years Old)
- (01) Channie’s “My First Pencil” Easy-to-Hold Pencil + Sharpener Pack
- (02) Koala Tools “Bear Claw” Thick Triangular Toddler-Friendly Pencils
- (03) STEAMFLO Jumbo Pencils for Toddlers and Kids (Triangle Shape)
- (04) Pencil Buddies Short Fat Toddler Pencils for Beginners with Sharpener
- (05) Mammoth “Made in USA” Jumbo Preschooler American Standard Pencil Pack
- (06) TICONDEROGA “My First Tri-Write” Neon Triangular Kids Pencil with Eraser Tip
- (07) BSIRI Natural Tree Bark Graphite Twig Pencils Kids Sensory Pencil
- (08) Party Pieces Co. Eco Friendly “Natural Branch” Twig Pencil Pack
- (09) Paper Mate Toddler-Friendly Triangular Mechanical Pencil with Lead and Eraser Refills
- (10) Lyra Beginner’s Tri-Grip German Design Kindergarten Sketch Pencil
- (11) BIC Kids Developmental Mechanical Pencil with Blue or Pink Barrel
- (12) PRANG “Chunky-Safe” Jumbo Colored Pencils for Early Years
- (13) AUTEMOJO Short Triangular Pencils for Writing Learners (Eraser + Sharpener)
- (14) TICONDEROGA “My First Pencils” Pre-Sharpened Round School Pencil with Eraser Tip
(01) Channie’s “My First Pencil” Easy-to-Hold Pencil + Sharpener Pack
The supplier channie’s offers two types of pencil packs very appropriate for the beginning of writing, suitable for children between 3 and 7 years old. First, they have a pack with 5 thick pencils, handmade, smaller in size than conventional pencils, and with a cylindrical shape (4.7” long and 0.5” in diameter), weighing 5 oz each, to help the child to have a better control of his hand when writing. Thick pencils offer the advantage of easier grip, because children need items that fit their small hands. The thicker the pencil, the easier it is for them to grip, the thinner the pencil, the more they tend to use their whole hand and not their fingers to write. This kit comes with a pencil sharpener and the tip of each pencil is 2B graphite, which allows them to create thick, dark lines. Its labeling design is of panda bear figurines.
The second pack contains 2 kits with 5 hexagonal pencils each, a total of 10 pencils, measuring 4 inches long, which allows the little ones to have a better control of the grip when writing. Due to its shape, it helps to place the fingers in the correct position for writing. The graphite tip allows for a thick, dark line. Unlike the previous model, the pencil sharpener is not included, but traditional cylindrical pencil sharpeners will fit.
(02) Koala Tools “Bear Claw” Thick Triangular Toddler-Friendly Pencils
If you are looking for a triangular shaped pencil with a thick 2B graphite tip, the Koala Tools pencil is a very good choice. As it has a thicker tip 0.354 inches, it allows you to make darker strokes without exerting pressure, and this aspect is very important, especially in children who tend to sharpen more and exert pressure on hand and arm thinking that this can make them draw better.
Also, as it is triangular in shape, it allows the grip to be more comfortable, and this facilitates the elaboration of letters and drawings. This set includes 6 pre-sharpened pencils, and each one is 6.5 inches long, slightly shorter than traditional pencils, but better designed to facilitate writing.
(03) STEAMFLO Jumbo Pencils for Toddlers and Kids (Triangle Shape)
The thicker the pencil, the more comfortable the grip for small children at the beginning of the strokes and the less effort to make a dark line. This brand has created a pencil 50% thicker than the traditional one, with a 10mm diameter and a 3mm tip (type 6B). The shape is triangular, which allows a correct posture of the fingers, and the wood is ecological and easy to sharpen. It comes in a pack of 12 units, and includes blank and downloadable worksheets for printing, with plenty of strokes for the little ones to practice letters and lines.
(04) Pencil Buddies Short Fat Toddler Pencils for Beginners with Sharpener
This type of pencils (number 2) are suitable for children between 2 and 4 years old, because they are half the length of conventional pencils (3.5 inches), with a triangular shape, a 0.197 inch graphite core and a light ecological wood that is easy to sharpen. They are perfect for initiating children into the world of drawing. These characteristics allow the child to feel comfortable while writing, without exerting effort that could cause fatigue.
The set includes 8 units and a pencil sharpener. This model does not include an eraser at the end of the pencil.
(05) Mammoth “Made in USA” Jumbo Preschooler American Standard Pencil Pack
Mammoth pencils are super break resistant. They have a smooth finish, with cedar wood harvested in sustainable forests and manufactured in the United States.
It is a perfect choice for young children because they are thick, making them easier to grip, and no pressure is exerted at the time of the stroke. Its graphite tip is size 2, and the set includes 12 units. It includes an eraser at the other end.
(06) TICONDEROGA “My First Tri-Write” Neon Triangular Kids Pencil with Eraser Tip
This brand has manufactured graphite pencils with very intense neon-colored designs, which tend to attract the attention of children very quickly. The tip is with graphite core number 2, and have PMA certificate of non-toxicity.
It comes with a set of 12 neon colored pencils, and its triangular shape makes it a perfect choice to improve the grip and posture of children’s little hands. They come pre-sharpened and with a neon colored eraser.
(07) BSIRI Natural Tree Bark Graphite Twig Pencils Kids Sensory Pencil
It’s available as bark-on graphite pencils. A unique graphite pencil model, made with rustic birch wood (natural tree branches), no two pieces are alike. Its finish is rough, and it is very resistant to breakage. Measuring 5 inches in length, it is a great choice as a party favor, or as a decoration in a child’s room.
They are certainly not designed to improve the grip, or generate a particular stroke, but rather as an object of play, contact, and curiosity for children. Seeing two pencils with the same color of graphite, but different in shape (some more twisted than others) generates a lot of curiosity. The set includes 12 pencils.
It’s available as bark-on colored pencils. The same firm bets for the design of rustic pencils, but with colored tips. Each pencil measures 3 inches long and includes 12 different colors in the set. To be able to differentiate each color, it will be enough to see the tips, because its outer layer is made of natural rustic wood. Like the previous ones, each unit is unique in its shape, some more twisted and others more straight because they are made with real branches.
Perfect as decorative elements in the children’s room, or as a gift at the end of the holidays. They can paint with them, but they do not have a shape that facilitates the grip. They will be very curious to see the designs and the tips with a variety of colors.
(08) Party Pieces Co. Eco Friendly “Natural Branch” Twig Pencil Pack
The set of Twig brand also bets on the manufacture of pencils with a natural rustic look. They are handmade and include 10 pencils with different colors. It is an ecological product, which cares for the environment and is made from natural wood branches.
It is an ideal choice as a children’s room decoration, as a birthday gift, and as an object of discovery and comparison versus traditional pencils among young children. Because they are uniquely shaped, no two are alike. They look rustic to the touch, for painting for a while, not as a way to improve the shape of the stroke or grip.
(09) Paper Mate Toddler-Friendly Triangular Mechanical Pencil with Lead and Eraser Refills
Mechanical pencils are a good option if you don’t want to be sharpening the tip of a wooden pencil every time. This particular design from Paper mate is specifically for young children, it is triangular in shape, has a 1.3mm thick lead reservoir to prevent breakage, and a removable eraser included. It comes with a set of 5 mechanical pencils of different colors, a pack of 1.3mm leads, and two refill erasers.
Knowing that the triangular shape is very good for improving grip for young children, do not hesitate to offer this automatic graphite tip option to children.
(10) Lyra Beginner’s Tri-Grip German Design Kindergarten Sketch Pencil
These super thick wooden pencils are suitable for preschool children. The thicker the pencil, the easier and simpler it is for the child to hold and draw.
They measure 4.5 inches long, being much shorter than traditional pencils to facilitate balance in small hands. They have a triangular shape and the set includes 6 units. They are very light in weight despite being thick, about 0.16 ounces.
(11) BIC Kids Developmental Mechanical Pencil with Blue or Pink Barrel
This mechanical pencil is very functional and original for children from 4 years old. It is designed by teachers, who have taken care of the details so that the shape and comfort in the grip for writing are the main advantages. It has a shape with guide lines for a correct placement of the fingers, which makes the grip perfect from the beginning. Its design makes it suitable for both left and right-handed users, and it comes with 6 lead refills with a thickness of 1.3mm, as well as a large eraser.
It is made of highly break-resistant plastic and comes in a single blue color. Units included (1).
(12) PRANG “Chunky-Safe” Jumbo Colored Pencils for Early Years
During the early years, the little ones prefer fun colors over “regular graphite led”.
So far they are the only safe pencils that can be suitable for babies (from 12 months of age). They have an ergonomic, thick, medium to soft tip design, come in a set with 6 units in different colors (black, brown, green, yellow, red and blue), and visually inspire the child to practice fine motor skills with grasping and drawing intent.
It has a rounded plastic tip edge to facilitate safety between the pencil and the child, and includes a pencil sharpener for this design.
(13) AUTEMOJO Short Triangular Pencils for Writing Learners (Eraser + Sharpener)
This wooden pencil set has a very ergonomic triangular design, very soft to the touch and suitable for young children from 3 years old. Each pencil has a thickness of 0.39 inches and its graphite tip is number 2B (0.14 inches). Includes 7 pencils made of poplar, a double pencil sharpener for 0.315 inch pencils and 0.394 inch pencils, and a medium-sized eraser.
Being triangular and thick format, they improve grip and drawing skills in the smallest of the house.
(14) TICONDEROGA “My First Pencils” Pre-Sharpened Round School Pencil with Eraser Tip
This premium and sustainable wooden pencil set has a large diameter being 13 inches, which facilitates drawing in small children and minimal impact on graphite breakage. Its core belongs to the size 2, allowing a dark drawing without effort, and its triangular shape favors the grip for a more comfortable stroke without pressure on the hands and paper.
Included are 12 pencils with extra large latex-free eraser and a double pencil sharpener of the same thickness as the pencils. Can be used by children from 4 years old.
Why are so many toddler pencils a “Triangular” in shape?
Based on the fact that a pencil should be grasped with three fingers (thumb, index and middle finger), triangular pencils were created to facilitate the grip, and to teach children the posture of the fingers for writing. A triangular pencil is a pencil with three sides. It has the same shape as an equilateral triangle, but it is not necessarily made of triangles; imagine a cylindrical pencil, but cut on three sides with a thin tip, simulating a triangle, so are the basic triangular pencils, which of course on its opposite side have an integrated eraser, like the traditional ones.
The main advantage and functionality of triangular pencils in children is that each finger will have an identifiable contact area to the touch and they are usually larger, this allows a better grip, favors the ergonomics of his little hand, and therefore, allows writing without exerting so much pressure between the hand and the pencil.
There are many types of triangular pencils. The most common is the standard triangle, as I have described, but there are other variations, such as the hexagonal pencil (six sides), the pentagonal pencil (five sides) and the octagonal pencil (eight sides).
After many studies in children’s schools in various parts of the world, they were able to conclude that 60% of the children in the total class did not have a correct grip on the pencil, and one of the influential factors was that they used the traditional cylindrical pencil. When compared to children who were offered triangular pencils, there is a higher level and ease of grip to improve fine motor skills through hand coordination and writing.
Should I get a “Pencil Grip”?
Triangular or grip pencils are elements that allow us to teach children a correct posture and grip when they start writing. It is one more element among the tools available today to improve children’s motor skills and enhance their fine motor skills. Therefore, it is not an obligation to offer it to the child or to demand it in their early childhood education school as an indispensable tool. It is true that information is power, and if there are benefits described in this type of material, it will not hurt the children. For something, there are plenty of models and sizes to select the most suitable for our children. The best tool we have as parents is constant observation, and if we see that when we offer a traditional pencil, it is difficult for him to hold it, he does not get used to it, or he gets tired when trying to write because of the pressure he exerts with his hand, then let’s offer this type of material and see how the child evolves.
How to sharpen “Thick Pencils”?
Grip pencils and triangular pencils are sharpened just like any traditional cylindrical pencil. In fact, triangular pencils, despite their shape, are sharpened in the same sharpener as conventional pencils. The only difference is that if we choose thicker pencils, we must have a pencil sharpener with a larger hole, usually associated with the first purchase of such models.
It is normal for our children to be curious to see how pencils are sharpened, since they are constantly watching us, and even more so if we are introducing them to a new element. Although pencil sharpeners may have a certain degree of danger due to the blades and their fine little fingers, try to choose a pencil sharpener with a reservoir, so that we can offer it to the children with more peace of mind, and explain the sharpening process to them. Don’t be afraid to introduce these tools to children, they teach us lessons every day, and I am sure they will be very excited if we integrate them into the process of sharpening pencils for writing. Any new process requires supervision, calm and patience with the little ones in the house.