Every child is different and so are our drawing products. When you’re investing in good quality, lasting materials for your budding artists, you want to know that they will use them lots with enjoyment, and hopefully, continue their love of drawing for life.

Matching your child’s age and stage of development to the product is the answer. Here are our personal recommendations, based on real-life experience:

Age: 15 months to 2 years
Stage: the beginnings of drawing and mark making, the scribbling phase
Product: Stockmar Crayon Blocks

It’s never too early to allow children to discover the pleasure that comes from making marks on paper. Look out for them picking up pencils and drawing on any nearby surface for signs that they are ready to start. Spreading food on their high chair tray and pushing it around with their fingers is also one of the first signs of mark making.

My 18-month-old daughter has started to realise that she is the one creating coloured marks on the paper when she is drawing. She loves the movement of scribbling as well as the marks and colours being produced.

Stockmar Crayon Blocks are easy for her to grip, and don’t break or crumble. We have also given her Crayon Rocks to use. She loves them, but more to play with rather than for drawing. You have to be careful with them though as they are quite small and easy to swallow.

Age: 3 to 5 years
Stage: controlled scribbling and early figurative
Products: Stockmar Crayons and Blocks, Crayon Rocks, Lyra Lyrax, Lyra Groove Triple

Children at this age are starting to develop their fine motor skills and drawing is brilliant for this. Crayons are still ideal as they are easy to use and control, they are also forgiving in their application. For example, my son, who has always been a perfectionist gets easily frustrated with felt tip pens or coloured pencils, but he is more confident with crayons and happier with the results, encouraging him to draw more.

Crayon Rocks help children strengthen their tripod grip, which helps with writing later on. They are also vegan, if you’d rather not use beeswax.

The Lyra Groove Triple are fun too. My children love them. They are a chunky pencil, soft to use - almost the consistency of an oil pastel, but with the added benefit of being water soluble. Brilliant for creating different effects while drawing.

Age: 6 to12 years
Stage: figurative and age of dawning realism
Products: Lyra Super Ferby Coloured Pencils, Lyra Groove Slim, Lyra Osiris Aquarelle Pencils, Okonorm felt tip pens

Your child’s drawings will have more detail now, figures are no longer stick men and they often narrate more intricate stories.

It’s time for coloured pencils and felt tip pens, and I would still encourage the use of wax crayons too.

My favourite colouring pencils are the Lyra Super Ferby. Thick and triangular, they are great to grip and control. They also come in vivid range of colours, which can include metallics and neons (an eco highlighter). Buy individual colours to increase choice or replace favourites.

I know they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I love felt tips. There’s something exciting about the intensity and variety of colours. To me, they feel quite magical to use. We have a great range of non-toxic, eco felt tips with eraser pens by Okonorm.

Age: 13+
Stage: artistic decisions
Products: Lyra Art Pens, Lyra Rembrant Polycolours, Lyra Pastel Poly Crayons

I taught art at secondary school and know full well that children at this age either love drawing or they don’t. Unfortunately, it is usually self-criticism that stops them drawing.

Offering a wide range of different drawing materials will delight those that love to draw and maybe encourage those that don’t. Experimenting with as many techniques as possible is a good idea at this age.

And if they are passionate enough to want to take GCSE Art and Design, I would recommend the amazing Lyra Rembrandt Polycolour pencils. They are expensive, but last a long time and are beautiful to use. In artist grade coloured pencils like these, the pigments are highly concentrated, creating a vivid and varied colour range, as well as being great for blending techniques.

Unique for a coloured pencil, they are oil based, making them creamier and softer to use. They will not bleed or flow with water, making them great to use with watercolour paint and inks to create interesting effects.

Let us know your experiences of using Conscious Craft drawing products. We’d love to hear from you. Call 01342 825200 or email: info@consciouscraft.uk

Until next time

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