The Best Toddler Paintbrush Is…..A Travel Foundation Brush

Painting is so much fun for toddlers and preschoolers.  Finding the right brush that fits their little hands and also encourages a developing crayon grip isn’t as much fun.  Stores are full of all sizes and shapes, some with collars so that paint doesn’t run down their arms, some with ridged handles, some so tiny that you wonder how small is too small.  Find the right brush, and painting is a great pre-writing activity, developing hand strength and control along with creativity and touch exploration.

I shopped around for the right brushes, spending a fortune in therapy catalogs and at Target/Walmart/art stores.  Then I bought an expensive makeup foundation that provided it’s own small brush.  For the price they charged, they should have thrown in a makeup artist to apply it, but that is another blog post.  The brush was great, but not for applying my makeup ( I am a sponge girl).  It was just the right length and diameter for preschooler fingers to hold while painting!

Little hands should use small (but not tiny) diameter handles, and shorter rather than longer shafts.  A brush that has just enough room for fingertips (which discourages a fisted grip because there simply isn’t a long handle shaft) is just right.  Mine had a shiny base near the bristles that created a visual cue for finger placement.  That was a plus.

I think that a nice travel brush should work just as well, and a well-made brush can withstand the abuse a young child is capable of delivering on their way to creating a work of art!

By Cathy Collyer

I am a licensed occupational therapist, licensed massage therapist, and certified CBT-i sleep coach in private practice in the NYC area. I have over 25 years of professional experience in adult and pediatric treatment. It has been a joy to help people of all ages improve their ability to grow and thrive! Occupational therapists are focused on enhancing a client's functioning in everyday life. We are practical healthcare providers, interested in teaching, adapting actions and environments, and building a client's useful skills for living their best life, regardless of their challenges. I am the author of five books, including "Staying In The Room: Managing Medical And Dental Care When You Have DID" and "The Practical Guide To Toilet Training the Autistic Child". I lecture on many subjects, including sleep, trauma, and development. Contact me to learn more about how I can help you achieve YOUR goals!

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