Children grow up using crayons, sidewalk chalk or maybe even paint but when it is time for school, it is time for pencils. Pencils came into existence in the year 1564 when a big graphite mine was discovered in England. They cut the graphite into rods and put them into hand-carved wood sheaths to form the first crude pencils. Since that time pencils have evolved into many different shapes and sizes, from the standard yellow pencils to colored pencils, mechanical pencils and pencils of every shape, size, and color. They are probably one of the most common tools in everyday life and one that kids will learn to use well.
There are many benefits of teaching children to use pencil and paper. Computers are a wonderful learning tool, but teaching them with pencil and paper will help them to learn their letters more easily. It will also help them learn to read. The physical process of writing something on paper has also been proven to help our mind imprint the information better to memory. So, what kind of pencil is the best? You have lots of features to consider. Do you want the regular old school pencils? Or are mechanical pencils what your kids are asking for? For young kindergarteners, you might want to consider a fatter style to help them get used to learning the proper way to grip a pencil. Older kids might need standard pencils for testing or they may find mechanical pencils more convenient. Of course, all kids enjoy colorful designs, convenience, and personality.
We have explored a few different options here so you can decide which one would be best for you and your family.
Best Kids Pencils and Personalized Pencils for Kids in 2018 Reviewed
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Kids Pencils and Personalized Pencils for Kids
There are lots of decisions to consider when choosing the perfect pencil for your budding writers and artists. Choosing a pencil they will find comfortable to use is important since this is a skill they will use for the rest of their lives. Cultivating a love of writing at an early age will help them with skills and careers later in life.
How do you keep them interested? Set a certain time during the week for them to exercise their imaginations by writing stories, poems or jokes. Be sure to have lots of colored pencils, pens, and markers which will keep them interested. Get them excited by setting up their very own writing space. All of these activities will keep them interested in writing and help them develop a vital skill.
A Barrel They Can Hold On To
For those who do not know, the barrel is the major body part of the pencil. In standard pencils, this part is usually made of wood. You want a pencil made of quality wood which will sharpen easily without splintering. Some different features will be helpful depending on the age of your child. A younger child may benefit from the fatter barrel to help them get a better grip and exercise their small motor skills. Many pencils have a hexagon shape to the barrel which helps with grip as well. The barrel should be smooth and may or may not be glossy for added comfort.
If you are looking for a mechanical pencil, you will also want one that is designed to be comfortable when writing. You may prefer barrels which are transparent so you can see how much lead is left in the pencil. There are so features to consider like whether or not the pencil has a grip to help hold it steady, a clip to be able to attach it to a pocket or good tip to keep the lead steady in place when in use.
Quality To The Core
The next feature you will want to look at is the core or “lead”, which actually is not lead at all. Most pencil leads are made of a mixture of clay and graphite. The different mixture of the two determines how soft the lead is or how dark it writes. By far the most common classification is the #2 lead with HB, which stands for hard and black.
When it comes to lead, you will want one which is hard enough to leave a nice clean mark when you are writing but not so hard that it scratches the paper or is too brittle and breaks easy. If your child is left-handed, you want to watch for a lead which does not smear when they have to drag their hand over it while writing.
The Best In Flub Removal
Erasers are an interesting feature of the pencil with a great history. Before they were invented, errors were removed with a mixture of breadcrumbs. Then the French, who were instrumental in a lot of pencil development, invented a vegetable gum now know as rubber. On the standard pencils, you want an eraser which is hard enough to last as long as the pencil does and erase errors completely with little use. They also need to be soft enough not to tear up the paper, smear the graphite or crumble all over the page.
On a mechanical pencil, you want an eraser included which will last a while and can be refilled. Having an eraser which will twist out as it is being used is also a nice feature, but you want to watch for one which stays in place as well.
Pencils are an important part of everyday life, and teaching our children how to use them correctly will give them an invaluable skill they will use throughout life. That will be a much easier task if you find the perfect pencil to match your child’s age, needs, personality and “sense of write”.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does a #2 pencil mean?
A: America uses a numbered system to grade how hard or soft a pencil lead is. This is determined by how much clay versus how much graphite is in the “lead”. In the case of the standard #2 pencil, the 2 indicates that the lead is fairly soft.
Q: What is microban?
A: It is added to some pencils to curb odor or stain causing bacteria. It seems to be especially popular with the Ticonderoga brand since they have antimicrobial pencils.
Q: What is a ferrule?
A: The metal ring on the end of a wooden pencil which helps hold the eraser in place and strengthen the entire pencil.
Q: Why are the wooden pencils traditionally yellow?
A: Back in the late 1800’s the best graphite for making pencils was in China. The western pencil manufacturers wanted their customers to associate their product with quality so they made them the color of Chinese royalty which is yellow.
Q: How does the pencil actually make marks on paper without carving holes?
A: The tiny graphite flecks in the lead of the pencil, which may be only thousandths of an inch wide, sticks to the fibers that make up the paper.
Q: How much writing can an average #2 pencil accomplish?
A: It has been said that an average pencil has enough graphite mixture in it to draw a line about thirty-five miles long or write about 45,000 words. However, there are no scientific studies done on this subject that I am aware of.
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