Where are the pencils? Why is it that whenever I want a pencil, I can’t find one? This is one of my pet peeves. I want to write a note, draw with a kid or mark on my calendar (yes, I still use a paper calendar). But never can find a pencil when I want one. And it’s my own house!
This is especially bothersome when it comes to working with kids. I was at my daughter’s house recently, a house full of art supplies, we sat down to draw and not a pencil in sight. We searched and searched and ended up drawing with a colored pencil. But then, there was no pencil sharpener. Back at my own house, we wanted to draw, finally found pencils, but the electric sharpener was upstairs, and it was an embarrassing amount of effort to bring it downstairs. (Since then, I told Alexa to tell Amazon I needed an electric sharpener for the kitchen. It’s on the way.)
We need pencils, but our kids need pencils even more. We buy them for school, but rarely stock up at home. I think it’s a combination of them being sharp pointy objects that need to be kept in a careful location, and just not thinking kids would need them at home. But they do. I’m talking about older preschool age kids and elementary kids. When it’s drawing time, kids are directed to the family bucket of crayons, often stubby banged old up crayons. I don’t know about you, but I can’t draw anything with a stubby old crayon. And I don’t want to. But give a kid a pencil, and watch their imaginations take flight.
A pencil, a real pencil and a real sharpener, make drawing and writing feel legit. There’s a level of respect and trust, that you know the kind of tools they need and know they can be trusted with them. But with that comes wisdom on your part. Wisdom to keep them in a safe place when not in use. Wisdom to put them away when drawing and writing time is over. Wisdom to know which child at which age is ready for that trust.
All that to say – give your kids the gift of pencils! Yellow #2 pencils. Red. Blue. Green #2 pencils. Have fun with colorful themed pencils. And for everyone’s sanity – buy an electric pencil sharpener.