There’s nothing like the day your toddler colors their first intentional scribble across a piece of paper. Obviously, you’re convinced your child is a creative genius. You’re proudly displaying the artwork on the fridge for all to see — until you can find the right frame, of course. The act of coloring is one of life’s simple pleasures so it’s no wonder it feels like such a monumental first for a child. However, not every crayon is made to withstand the will of a toddler. That’s why the best crayons for toddlers aren’t exactly your classic 24-pack.
Because, before you know it, your sweet child genius is chewing on the crayon and peeling off the wrappers. Or breaking them up into small, tiny pieces. Or, God forbid, they went rogue and used the couch as a canvas. But you can (mostly) avoid these scenarios simply by finding the right crayons. And it’s worth the effort, too. Because in addition to encouraging imaginative play and creativity, coloring is a fine motor skill that helps your child exercise muscles in the hand and practice hand-eye coordination.
You’ll need crayons that are made specifically with little hands in mind, sturdy enough to keep the creativity flowing, and totally safe for curious kiddos (and couches). For that reason, many of the crayons on this list are made with natural, food-grade ingredients like beeswax, so you don’t have to worry if your LO happens to make a crayon a snack. You also have options when it comes to the shape of the crayon. Egg-shaped and chunky, oversized crayons will be easy for your toddler to grip in their palm, and triangular crayons are not only less likely to roll off the table but also designed to help older preschoolers learn about the tripod grasp.
Ahead, 10 of the best crayons for toddlers to inspire your little Picasso in the making.
Best Nontoxic Crayons for Toddlers
You won’t find any fillers in these nontoxic crayons—that might also smell a little bit like honey. That’s because these handmade crayons are made sustainably from beeswax, a natural by-product of honey production. Each box contains 12 colors mixed from food-grade pigments, each crayon perfectly short and stubby for tiny grips. They’re a popular pick on Amazon, backed by more than 11,000 ratings. One shopper raved, “These crayons are fantastic for my 15 month old. Chunky style, easy to hold, the colors are vibrant on paper, and they […] smell great!”
These toddler nontoxic crayons are made from natural wax and free from asbestos, lead, and phthalates, making them safe for curious little mouths. Even better, the vibrant jumbo crayons are both washable and durable against breaks. Bonus: the sturdy box won’t crush under the weight of toddler hands! “I love the richness of these crayons, both in their consistency (oilier rather than more waxy like most crayons) as well as the range of colors in the set,” one reviewer reported. “My daughter loves them and has no trouble holding onto them — they’re almost twice as thick as a standard crayola crayon, as a comparison.”
These twistable crayons might just have it all. They’re washable, nontoxic, easy to grip, and there’s not a wrapper in sight. Fans love the silky glide and when the color begins to run low, all you have to do is twist. “These are awesome! Easy for toddler to hold and remove and cap the lid. The crayon isn’t too soft and they don’t break like another brand I purchased!!” one fan noted. “I will definitely be buying these again!!! And they color so easily and smooth.”
Another nontoxic option free of paraffin or petroleum-based waxes, these ergnomically shaped peanut crayons are perfect for little hands. Available in a colorful 12-pack, the crayons are washable, wrapper-free, and sturdy so you won’t find a bunch of broken crayons littering your art table. One shopper who initially gushed, “Best crayons for toddlers and last forever,” went on to write, “They are easy and intuitive for my toddler to grip.”
Not round, not triangular, these jumbo crayons are the shape of a hexagon. Super easy to grip and in 12 vibrant shades, these chunky crayons are also nearly impossible for little hands to break due to their short, unique shape. They’re made in New Zealand from all-natural beeswax for a nontoxic crayon that’s both eco-friendly and toddler-approved. One reviewer noted, “These are so worth it in my opinion because I have peace of mind knowing that if they end up in my baby’s mouth (which they always do), they won’t hurt him!”
Best Egg Crayons for Toddlers
The rounded shape of these egg-shaped crayons are meant to fit the natural grasp of small hands. One goes a long way, too, as each egg crayon is equal to 14 regular crayons, according to the brand. The pigmentation is strong, so even if your little one can’t yet press down fully, they’ll still be able to see the fruits of their little labor. Plus, they’re washable. “My toddler loves this [crayon],” one shopper raved. “He spends a lot more time scribbling now than with the traditional thick ones, and the best part is: it’s very easy to clean up!”
Packaged in a cute box, these egg crayons make a perfect gift for the little one in your life. They’re easy for tiny hands to palm, but you could also try the brand’s finger-shaped crayons as another toddler-friendly option. You get nine rainbow-colored crayons that are washable and nontoxic. One reviewer weighed in, “These fit perfectly in our 15 month old’s hand! Colour is great and […] they are a good weight. Hes thrown them and they don’t chip or break.”
Best Triangular Crayons for Toddlers
Why chase rolling crayons when you don’t have to? These oversized triangular crayons from Melissa & Doug are here to make parents’ lives easier but there’s a benefit for kids, too. The shape helps facilitate a proper grasp for writing when the time comes. They’ve amassed rave reviews on Amazon and fans love their long-lasting durability — they’re actually made of plastic instead of wax. There are 10 crayons in a pack, and they’re housed in a convenient flip-top case. One shopper raved, “We love these though because they don’t break, my son has even stepped on one and it stayed whole, they have good color saturation and last forever…obviously! We’ve been using the same set for years!”
Crayola is synonymous with some of the best-quality, best-pigmented crayons and it’s no wonder their My First Crayola line is a favorite among parents. These triangular crayons will stay put each and every time your toddler dumps them out of the box—and that’s one less thing for you to pick up today. The eight-pack of crayons is washable, and one parent even reported that they washed right off the wall with a paper towel.
Also Worth Considering: Chalk Crayons For Outdoor Play
If the weather allows for some outdoor creativity, why not spring for these dustless chalk crayons? Your tot can create masterpieces without the mess thanks to the chalk’s waxy consistency that’s nontoxic and washable. They can also be used on chalkboards for rainy days indoors. You get 20 pieces with the order, two of each of the ten colors included. “These are great. Like a waxy feel rather than the old dusty chalk. No mess everywhere,” noted one happy customer.