Is there a "right" way to hold a paintbrush?

There is no “right” or “wrong” way to hold a paintbrush. Different ways of holding a paintbrush produce different effects. For example, using a pencil grip helps with painting fine details, but holding a brush like a tennis racket might make long, sweeping lines. Between the ages of 2-3 years, most children are able to hold and control a paintbrush using their thumb and fingers, but they do not have the fine motor control or strength to use a finger grip (this does not develop until they are around 4 years of age). No matter how your child holds a paintbrush, painting is a great way to encourage creativity and helps develop hand and finger muscles.

Jennie Ito, Ph.D.

Child Development Expert

Jennie Ito is a mother of two and a child development consultant who specializes in children’s play and toys. Before becoming a consultant for LeapFrog, she was an intern at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and later worked as a content expert for the Association of Children’s Museum’s “Playing for Keeps” Play Initiative. Jennie earned her doctorate degree in developmental psychology at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.

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