Drawing with stencils helps children to develop visual perception skills as they connect the incomplete lines in their stencilled design to form a complete picture.

Lovely bilateral fine motor task – one hand draws and one hand holds steady. Since this is quite a challenge, children can begin to learn to use stencils around 6 years of age, and they usually master the use of stencils by 7 or 8 years of age. These tiny stencils make a great first stencil for your children to use.

Needs controlled hand movements as the pencil easily slips past the edge of the stencil when making small changes in direction. The child therefore needs to apply just the right pressure against the stencil when tracing around it. Too much pencil pressure against the stencil may cause the pencil point to snap and also might cause the pencil line to move in an irregular way. Too little pressure from the pencil onto the stencil will cause the child’s line to be wobbly and not to follow the stencil outline accurately.  Once again, it’s that JUST RIGHT pressure that makes the difference and that works!

Finding just the right pressure with the pencil on the paper and with the pencil against the stencil outline is what makes this task work! When one considers all these intricacies, it is no wonder that stencils have been used for years in assisting children to develop good pencil control!

Spatial planning of the picture….. Children need to learn how set out the various stencilled shapes and designs into the picture which they are creating, rather than to simply draw them all bunched up in one place, just as they appear on the stencil! You may need to guide your child in working out just how to plan and design his picture. Remember that the stencil can be flipped over so that some of the animals or designs face one way and some face the other way. As children explore their own creativity and gain confidence they can also draw in parts of the picture themselves, to create their own unique story in the picture.

It is almost impossible to use a stencil with a blunt pencil.  Take time to teach your child the art of sharpening pencils and of keeping pencils sharp.

How to sharpen your pencil. Children sometimes get muddled and they turn the sharpener instead of turning the pencil! Show your child how to grasp the pencil sharpener while holding it over a wastepaper basket, so that the sharpening falls directly into the bin rather than into their hands or anywhere else. They need to take care to sharpen just enough to make a sharp point and not soooo much that the pencil point snaps.

Each Stencil measures approximately 7.5 cm x 7.5 cm