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Can Kids Use An Apple Pencil?

An apple pencil is a great tool for drawing, note taking, or just general doodling.  You might have yours stashed in your 10.2 inch iPad case so that it’s always ready for you to use it on the go. But can kids use it? They can, and do. Is it ideal for kids? That’s  different question. Let’s look at the pros and cons.

Reasons Kids Should Have Access to an Apple Pencil

iPads turn out to be incredible educational devices. A plethora of educational apps allow children to explore their interests and learn basic school subjects like math, reading, and handwriting. The Apple Pencil allows you to take some of this learning— handwriting, for instance— a step further. Little ones will learn eye hand coordination by tracing letters with their fingers, but if you’ve got an Apple Pencil for them to use, they can learn how to hold and manage a pencil at the same time. 

Kids are also all about drawing, and while finger-painting is well within the realm of the possible, why hold them back? Maybe you’ve got a budding animation artist on your hand, or the next famous illustrator. Either way, letting your kids use an apple pencil can give them new super powers they never knew existed.

Apple pencils also enable your kids; to do worksheets or math problem sets on the iPad, doing any work required writing answers right in your PDF worksheet with your apple pencil. No more scraps of paper and completed worksheets lying all over the house— doesn’t it sound great? 

So if you want to get your kids an Apple Pencil, you can justify your purchase by observing that it can:

  • Improve their fine motor skills
  • Encourage their creativity
  • Enable them to complete schoolwork without paper

Why the Apple Pencil Isn’t Great for Kids

Is there any reason, then, why the Apple Pencil isn’t great for kids? As it turns out, there is. The main reason comes down to price: the Apple Pencil isn’t cheap, and many children— especially the younger set— are not all that careful with small objects that come into their hands. Give a pencil to one of these children and the likelihood that it will be lost, broken, or both within the first few weeks of use is very high.  

The price tag for the pencil might make sense for a one time purchase of a valuable educational tool. But for an almost disposable object you’ll have to replace every two weeks? Not so much. 

The other issue with buying an Apple Pencil for kids is that there are other options that are, by and large, just as good for little hands— and they are much cheaper. Your artsy teenager might love the pressure sensitivity of the pencil, but for anyone in the under 10 crowd it is just an extra complication. That frees you up to replace the pencil with the Logitech Crayon, a studier, cheaper option that is especially designed for kids.

In fact, if your child is just using the iPad to do worksheets, learn motor control, or make line drawings, they’ll be just as happy with a simple capacitative stylus. You can buy these on Amazon in sets of six or ten, which means there’s nothing to worry about when one gets lost. Loose the whole pack? No worries, it’ll cost all of 12 dollars to buy another. 

There’s nothing wrong with letting your kids have an Apple pencil. But unless your young ones are of the responsible variety, it’ll probably mean you have the burden of caring for it, keeping it charged, keeping it in working order and away from the bottom of the toy bin (or under the couch). If you want to simplify your life, this may be a responsibility you would rather not take on. 

Apps for Kids to Use with an Apple Pencil 

Decided to get an Apple Pencil anyway—- or let your kids borrow yours— and wondering what apps are best to introduce? Here are a few good ones:

  • Tayasui Sketch is a great drawing program for anyone. Parents love the minimal, low distraction interface and kids love the flexibility and the fun brush choices they have. This is a drawing app that grows with your child, and can be used by a two year old making scribble sketches up to a full-fledged artist illustrating for a magazine
  • Pigment is a coloring app that works wonderfully with the Apple Pencil. While most coloring apps you see are meant for adults and feature ‘tap to color’ functionality, Pigment lets them use a pencil the same way they'd use their crayons in a coloring book. The pages are gorgeous, and your children can make some real art with this app. 
  • iTrace is a handwriting app that includes a variety of different letter-formation options (including Handwriting without Tears, Zaner-Bloser and D’Nealian). Not only does it teach your child their letters, it also keeps track of progress and is customizable for left handed kids. 
  • Hip Hop Hen Letter Tracing is another handwriting app which also includes other pre-school skills like sound and pattern recognition. The graphics are adorable, and there’s a go-along phonics app too. 

Your child will love using the iPad with a pencil, whether that’s a full fledged Apple pencil or a cheap stylus. Just make sure you keep a shock-proof iPad cover on at all times, to protect against all the bumps and falls that can’t be avoided. For a 10.2 iPad, a 10.2 inch iPad case is what you’ll need— and Zugu makes the best. In fact, they make protective cases for pretty much every iPad out there, so you should be covered no matter what model you have.