Friday, 26 July 2013

Poison in your child’s creative materials

Be it crayons, pencils, felt pens, play dough, paints or scissors it is very essential to select those that not only fit in your budget but more importantly are child friendly and safe. Young children are susceptible to toxins in paints or lead poisoning through cheap paints and plastics. This can lead to allergies, asthma, and severe problems like attention disorders and behaviour issues due to high content of lead.

While selecting crayons-

  • For very young toddlers select those that are thick and round and fit in the palm as young toddlers use the ‘palmer’ grip to hold a crayon.
  • Then the child can progress to thick crayons, also called Jumbo crayons.
  • As the child slowly masters the skill of colouring you can now give 3 sided crayons, so that it automatically teaches the child the right way to hold the crayon and this will later help him in holding a pencil.
  • Crayons should be such that they do not break easily, as this can be frustrating for the child.
  • Children tend to put everything in their mouth and may even bite it and swallow-so always select crayons made from food grade colours and avoid those made from textile dyes-as these are dangerous for children when swallowed.
  • The wrapper should be of the same colour as the tip as this helps your child select the colour all by himself and hence develops independence and self esteem.
  • After colouring the colour should not stain the other pages.
  • When colouring the child should be able to get an even flow and not a patchy print.

While selecting scissors-

It is very important to give cutting with scissors as a pre-writing activity as the same three fingers that are used in holding a pencil are used for holding the scissor and hence this helps develop them.
  • The concept of scissoring is to develop the ‘writing fingers’ (thumb, fore finger and middle finger) so the finger holes should be such that they can comfortably accommodate the thumb on one side and both the fore and middle finger in the other.
  • It should be sharp enough for cutting and blunt enough not to hurt the child.
  • Try rubbing the blades on your palms to check if they hurt.
  • It should not twist or get stuck while using as this frustrates the child.

While selecting a felt pen-

  • Do not go on the size or thickness of the pen, check the length of the inside ink holder.
  • It should use food grade ink so that it is safe even if children put it in their mouth.
  • The cap should be ventilated as this will help the child breathe in case he swallows it.
  • The tip should be comfortable-not too short or too thin.
  • The ink should be such that it can be washed off easily from the child’s hands.

While choosing pencils-

  • Check the cantering of the lead-it should be exactly in the centre or else the pencil point will keep breaking while writing and while sharpening.
  • So avoid those pencils where the back of the pencil is covered with paint. The back of the pencil should be showing the lead point.
  • Go more for utility rather than its colour or price.
  • Safe lead or non lead pencils are the best.

While choosing an eraser-
·         Avoid those with aromas as many kids may be allergic to them. Some cheap varieties have strong aromas.
·         ‘Dust free’ erasers are best for young kids.
·         Ensure that the eraser does not smudge or leave dark marks every time the child uses it.
·         The eraser should be the right size for the young fingers to hold and move.
·         The eraser quality should be such that with the slightest of movement across the paper it should be able to erase, so that kids do not need to put pressure.

While choosing play dough/clay-
·         The play clay should be soft and malleable for young fingers.
·         It should not have any sticky oil etc on its surface.
·         When kids use it there should be no residue on their fingers.
·         It should not stain or bleed colours.
·         It should be soft so that it does not crack or dry up when stored.
·         It should be of a high grade so that it does not catch fungus when stored.
·         It should be non toxic for kids. Check for lead content.

While choosing paints-
·         Avoid paints that give a strong chemical smell.
·         Paints that leave stains on the fingers are of low grade quality, best avoided.
·         Buy larger containers so that it lasts longer.
·         Paints should be non toxic, check for lead content.


bhavna said...

An article that is definitely an eye opener and also tempts you to go shopping all over again to buy the 'RIGHT' play equipments for your child and to keep them 'creatively' and 'safely' busy.

A must read and a must keep handy article for generations to come...


Manju Joshi said...

To select a thing though we go by brand has many choices. After reading this article how to choose right thing is learned. A must read article not only for mothers who shop for kids but for teachers who guide and make kids use this material.

pjkparbhani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DrRenukadas said...

As a proud PJK parent, I am very happy to have my kid at PJK. Please keep up this good work, and continue to make more and more parents like myself happy. Your articles, which both I and my wife follow on facebook, are most informative and instructive. Thank you.

jayshree shah said...

Ma'am its a nice article about all important stationary items for all Headmistress ,Teachers and parents what to choose and select and i can assure you that in jalna branch under your guidance i have taken care that we follow all important tips given by you which is always best for the children as per the kiducation .

Pramila p said...

An excellent article which is well explained and teach everybody to be aware to look for brands which will be safe for their children and not to compromise while buying any items for their children also to look out for these things even in the schools their kids are in .

Brinda said...

A eye opener on what materials to use with children and an insight into what parents and teachers have to look for in creative materials. specially the line which says sketch pen caps should be ventilated,that will allow children to breath when swallowed makes us understand the micro details that needs to be kept in mind while selecting anything for a child.

vaishali joshi said...

Thanks for the informative article Ma'am, it happens commonly parent wish to take the material which is available in average price. This will help the parent as well as all the teachers to check material before using. of course safety comes first.

pjkparbhani said...

You have written very small but really very important points in your article. Parents are more aware about their child's education, toys, things needed in daily life but sometimes they didn't notice these small points like back of pencil showing the lead point or not? whether crayons are made from food grade colours or not? But precaution is better than cure always! After reading this blog, most of the parent will surely think once again before buying stationary and will remember all tips given by you. Thanks to share your valuable thoughts.
Warm Regards,
Ms. Jyoti Swami

Preeti Bhasin said...

Thank you for sharing illuminative and enriching advice .Once again this enlightening article teaches us that Safety is of utmost importance and if we compromise on quality we will jeopardize our kids.

Snehal Pjk said...

An article that make us understand the right selection of material for our child . It is helpful for both teacher & parent .Right things at right time & right place can make miracles so let us all make miracles in our kids life .

shwets said...

An really informative article for the teachers an parents as a parent i would want the best for my child and that means things that are within budget and safe for him to use in the long run

Deepak Bhatt said...

After carefully observed other pre-schools, finally we took admission for my daughter at Podar Jumbo Kids, Ahmedabad. I am very much impressed with the introductory session by Director of Satellite Branch.

I must Congratulate to Ms. Swati Popat Vats to make course curriculum sharp and intelligent.

Deepak Bhatt
Management Thinker, India

Preeti Bhasin said...

Truly enlightening article which teaches us that Safety is of utmost importance and if we compromise on quality we will jeopardize our kids.