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7 Best Toddler Crayons to Really Draw Kids in, Tested and Reviewed

Crayons made with toddlers in mind? Well, color us impressed!
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profile picture of Korin Miller
Updated February 29, 2024
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In a nutshell:

Our top choice, the Lebze F. Monaco Palm Crayons, were a big hit with our kid testers. This crayon set comes in a sturdy and colorful case, and offers a thickness that works well for toddlers and preschoolers alike.

When it comes to kids’ art supplies, crayons are a perennial favorite. But before you pick some up for your tot, make sure they’re age-appropriate. Did you know that many coloring utensils aren’t suited for children under 3? But children can start coloring much younger than that: “Starting around one year old, most toddlers have enough of a pincer grasp to hold a crayon and will begin to do so with a very rudimentary grasp until around 1.5 years,” says Brittany Ferri, PhD, an occupational therapist based in New York.

I’m a mom of four art-loving young kids, including a 1-year-old and 4-year-old who color on a daily basis. I recruited my younger children to test out the most popular toddler crayons on the market to give you insight into how they stand up to sessions with budding artists. I also analyzed each of these crayons to ensure we only recommended products that are durable and safe for kids. Here’s what we discovered.

How We Tested and Chose the Toddler Crayons

Image: Korin M.

We spent hours researching and testing toddler crayons to ensure the products that made our final list are worth your time and money. This is what went into our process:

  • I personally tested each set of crayons three or more times with my one-year-old and 4-year-old children. Crayons were also dropped off a table and, in some cases, thrown to check durability. The crayons were analyzed for elements like grip, ease of use, packaging, and value for money.

  • We consulted with an occupational therapist for advice on what to look for in these important art tools, based on age.

  • We leveraged our familiarity with leading childhood brands to make sure to only recommend toddler crayons from trusted retailers.

  • To see how these products performed for a wide range of families, we pored over countless reviews for each crayon set, noting any potential issues that other users had. We only considered crayons with an average rating of four or more stars.

Editorial integrity is at the heart of everything we publish. Read about how The Bump develops and reviews all articles, including product reviews.

Best Toddler Crayons

Overall best toddler crayons

Lebze F.  Monaco Palm Crayons
Image: Amazon
Buying Options
Amazon|$16.90
What We Love
  • Nice color selection
  • Sturdy packaging
  • Glides on easily
Things To Consider
  • Not washable
  • Pricier than drugstore crayons

Our kid testers loved all of the crayons, but this was the set they kept choosing when given the option to pick. The crayons are designed for kids aged one and up, with an impressive color selection including several shades of blue, pink, green, and yellow that my little ones appreciated. Lebze’s crayons hit that sweet spot between being too thick and too thin, which adds to the durability, and they survived falling off my dining room table with no issues. Both my kids and I liked the package they came in. It’s a cylindrical shape with a colorful pattern, and a top that easily slides on and off—but not so easily that it falls off when it’s toted around in a bag. There’s even a thoughtful internal foam padding in the packaging’s lid to keep crayons from breaking in transit.

The crayons are pretty tall, allowing for a wide range in grasping ability. While the crayons aren’t explicitly labeled as washable, they do rub off surfaces easily—something I discovered when my 1-year-old went rogue and colored off the paper. Little artists will appreciate that Lebze’s crayons create a smooth color that glides on without kids needing to put some muscle into it.

The price isn’t the lowest you’ll find out there but between the durability, color options, and way my kids reacted to it, this is a set worth your money.

Number of crayons: 16 | Material: Wax

Our product tester says:

“Of all the crayons we tested, these created the richest colors with minimal pressure.”

Buy Now

Best durable jumbo toddler crayons

Crayola My First Easy-Grip Jumbo Crayons
Image: Amazon
Buying Options
Amazon|$13.84
What We Love
  • Durable construction
  • Don’t wear down easily
  • Good color variety
Things To Consider
  • Doesn’t glide on as easily as others
  • Package top is flimsy

It’s a universal truth of toddlers: They’re going to be tough on their gear. I was impressed when my one-year-old threw one of the Crayola My First Easy-Grip Jumbo Crayons across the room and it looked as good as new. These crayons also held up well when my 4-year-old dumped the entire package out on the table. The crayons, which come in a varied pack of 24, have long tips with a wide base and don't wear down easily. The exterior of the crayons is wax, but is still easy to grip, and I appreciated that there was no label to be peeled off and tossed on the ground.

My kids were able to use these crayons just fine, but they did seem to require a little more force than some others to produce rich colors on the paper. My kids didn’t have an issue with it—it’s more something that I noticed. The crayons aren’t labeled as being washable, but they came up from the table with no issue. It’s worth noting: The package and lid are a little flimsy and are unlikely to hold up over time, if that’s a concern for you. However, the flat lid and wider base does mean that you can easily stack things above and below this crayon pack if storage is tight.

Number of crayons: 24 | Material: Wax

Our product tester says:

“My 1-year-old threw one across the room, and I was impressed that it didn't break or snap.”

Buy Now

Best triangle crayons

Sproutlings Natural Crayons
Image: Walmart
Buying Options
Walmart|$5.97
What We Love
  • Easy to grasp
  • Won’t roll off the table
  • Vibrant colors
Things To Consider
  • May be too short for bigger kids
  • Package takes a moment to repack

The first thing I noticed about the Sproutlings Natural Crayons was the vibrant colors. That was a big draw for my daughters, who immediately got to work coloring butterflies, rainbows, and similarly bright objects. The natural crayons, which are made from beeswax and soy, are a great size for little hands. They’re also a triangular shape, which may take a moment for kids who have colored with traditional cylindrical crayons to get used to. (My one-year-old quickly figured it out, though.)

Several of the crayons survived falling off my table, and they have a wide tip that won’t break or wear down easily. While the crayons were a hit with my one-year-old, they were a little small for my 4-year-old, who had to fiddle with the grip. She ultimately managed just fine, but I wouldn’t purchase these for a preschooler, or an older toddler with larger hands. Also, while the package is adorable, it requires packing up the crayons perfectly in order to close the top flap. You may be more comfortable pitching it and storing your crayons elsewhere. At under $6, these crayons have a fantastic price tag for what you get—nontoxic crayons in a gorgeous array of colors kids can dive into.

Number of crayons: 8 | Material: Soy, beeswax

Our product tester says:

“As a mom, I appreciate the shape—they won't roll off the table easily and be gobbled up by our dog.”

Buy Now

Best washable crayons

Four Candies Water-Drop Crayons
Image: Amazon
Buying Options
Amazon|$9.99
What We Love
  • Washable
  • Easy for little hands to hold
  • Good color selection
Things To Consider
  • May be tough for older kids to grasp
  • Grip may take a moment for kids to figure out

Not all crayons are washable. If you have a little artist who sees a canvas around every corner, this is a feature worth considering. The Four Candies Water-Drop Crayons are washable—a feature I confirmed on my kitchen table and by making a tiny mark on my wall that was promptly removed. The wax crayons are impressively durable and won’t break easily—something I confirmed when my one-year-old knocked a bunch off my kitchen table. These crayons are designed for a pincer grasp, which was great for my one-year-old but a little trickier for my 4-year-old. The non-toxic crayons glide easily across the page and come in a good variety of colors.

I appreciated the packaging, which has a clear designated spot for each crayon, making for easy clean-up. Even better: The unique shape of these crayons also allows for imaginative play—my daughters made them into pretend characters when they were done coloring.

Number of crayons: 12 | Material: Wax

Our product tester says:

“They have a thick, tear-drop shape that makes them hard to break.”

Buy Now

Best beeswax crayons

Honey Sticks Beeswax Super Jumbos
Image: Amazon
What We Love
  • Made with food-grade coloring
  • Non-toxic
  • Durable
Things To Consider
  • Only six crayons in the pack
  • Pricey

Honey Sticks crayons are made from beeswax and have a durability that I didn’t expect to see in an alternative material. My one-year-old gravitated toward these, and they survived being tossed across the room when she was done coloring. None of the crayons broke, although the tip of one crayon did wear down a little after a rigorous coloring session. Still, the crayons are long and thick, and will likely last for a long time.

Of all of the crayons, these were the easiest for my youngest child to grip. The wide diameter seems to play a role, along with the size. She was a big fan and seemed comfortable coloring with them for longer periods of time. The beeswax helps create a smooth glide across the page, passing vivid colors onto the page. While there are only six colors in the pack, my one-year-old didn’t mind (my 4-year-old did notice the limited selection, though). The crayons are non-toxic and made with food grade coloring, making them a good choice for kids who tend to mouth their crayons. These crayons are admittedly not cheap but they were a hit with my youngest. Their thick design and long length mean you’ll get plenty of mileage out of these.

Number of crayons: 6 | Material: Beeswax

Our product tester says:

“I didn't expect to be impressed by a set of toddler crayons, but I was. My daughter didn't want to stop using them.”

Buy Now

Best egg crayons

Crayola Washable Palm Grasp Crayons
Image: Amazon
Buying Options
Amazon|$21.68
What We Love
  • Comfortable to grip
  • Nontoxic
  • Good color selection
Things To Consider
  • Expensive
  • Grip may take getting used to

The Crayola Washable Palm Grasp Crayons have an egg shape with an incredibly sturdy design. Consider these the beasts of the toddler crayon world. When my 1-year-old threw one, I was more concerned about it denting the floor than I was about potential crayon damage. The grip on this crayon is nontraditional—kids have to palm it—but my kids had no issue with it. The crayons are large and easy to grab with a ridge around the top for an even easier grip.

While the crayons glide easily across the paper, they did take a little more force than others to transfer the color. The packaging isn’t my favorite, given that it’s flimsy and won’t hold up over time, but these crayons are tough enough to survive being tossed into a bag and stored that way. The cost of the Crayola Washable Palm Grasp Crayons is admittedly high, but you get so much crayon that your child is likely to outgrow them before they wear down. Just keep in mind that, given their large size and good grip potential, they can be weaponized against siblings. Still, if you’re looking for an unbreakable crayon that’s comfortable to hold, you’ve found it.

Number of crayons: 12 | Material: Wax

Our product tester says:

“No one is going to break these crayons. They are impressively thick.”

Buy Now

Best novelty toddler crayons

Ooly Stars of the Sea
Image: Amazon
What We Love
  • Fun design
  • Doubles as toys
  • Bright colors
Things To Consider
  • May be hard for larger hands to grip
  • Not comfortable for long coloring sessions

Crayons make great gifts, and the Ooly Stars of the Sea crayons are a definite crowd-pleaser. My kids immediately gravitated toward these and even ripped the package, they were so excited to get their hands on them. The starfish-shaped crayons are durable and didn’t break when dropped. They also have five points kids can use to color with, giving you plenty of points to work through before they wear down. This crayon is labeled for ages 3+, but my one-year-old had an easier time grasping it than my 4-year-old. (My younger daughter did ask if it was a cookie at first, though.)

My kids had no trouble coloring with these, but they were most excited about the shape of the crayons and used them for pretend play once they were done drawing. I appreciated the designated spots for each crayon in the packaging, which made for easy clean-up and storage. While my kids didn’t color with these as long as they did with more traditionally-shaped crayons, they have a wow factor that’s hard to beat. I plan to buy these as gifts for other kids in the future.

Number of crayons: 8 | Material: Wax

Our product tester says:

“The shape of these crayons is the big draw—they're fun for kids to look at and play with. My daughters used them for pretend play, too."

Buy Now

What to Look for in Toddler Crayons

Crayons for one-year-olds are usually larger (about double the diameter of standard crayons) and often referred to as jumbo crayons. Between 12 and 18 months old children are just starting to hold smaller items and may not have the strength or dexterity for smaller crayons, Ferri says. “Older toddlers, those between Pre-K and Kindergarten, would benefit from using one- to two- inch crayons since it’s much harder to use a fist or other immature grasp on items of that size,” says Ferri.

In general, I found that my kids preferred more traditionally-shaped crayons for longer coloring sessions. My 1-year-old gravitated toward thicker crayons, while my 4-year-old was happy with thin and thick options. A good color selection was important, as well as bright shades.

If you’re considering triangle crayons or ones with an unusual shape, consider the age of your child. Young toddlers seem more into these than older ones, who may take a moment to get a comfortable grip. Overall, though, kids will find a way to color with just about anything. My children had no problem making pictures with every type of crayon we tested.

About the writer:

Korin Miller is a writer who’s created dozens of features for The Bump. She specializes in commerce, wellness and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Women’s Health, Forbes, WSJ, SELF and more. Korin is mom to four kids, who range in age from 1 to 10 years old. She has a master’s degree from American University and lives by the beach with her family. Coloring is a daily occurrence in her house, where she has new shipments of drawing pads arrive every month.

Sources

Brittany Ferri, PhD, OTR/L, CPRP is an occupational therapist and the founder and CEO of the health writing and consulting company Simplicity of Health.

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