Tag Archives: Fountain Pens for Kids

Handwriting & Cursive Writing Class for Kids

Edit: Thanks for all of your interest! The class is currently full. Please e-mail to add your child’s name onto our waiting list. Stay tuned for more classes!Handwriting and Cursive Writing Class for Kids Toronto Canada Wonder Pens

I’m getting back in the saddle!

We’re going to be hosting a handwriting and cursive writing class for kids on Sunday, August 23, and I’m teaching! It’s like riding a bicycle, right?? 😉

While calligraphy is a beautiful art, cursive writing is skill that can be useful throughout someone’s life. These days, the debate on cursive writing being taught in schools can be heated, but whether or not your child’s teacher is teaching it, or if you feel strongly about your child learning, the fine motor skills of cursive writing can only be an asset. In many ways, there is a lot going on in a kid’s brain when they’re learning in school, and I think if they are confident in physical act of writing, then their brain can focus on learning the new ideas being taught.

Additionally, handwriting and cursive writing can be something that is relaxing and enjoyable. Smooth, flowing curves and even lines, the hope is that your child’s writing is something he or she can take pride in forming.

With school barrelling around the corner in September, this is a good way to flex those fingers and get writing again. This one hour class is a chance for your child to spend some time with a pen and paper, and to learn or practise some cursive writing.

Students need to be at least eight years old, and have mastered printing skills, ideally at least entering Grade 3 in the fall. Their printing writing doesn’t need to be neat or perfect, but they need to be able to print all of the letters confidently – they need to have mastered printing in order to be able to effectively learn a new way to write the letters.

This class is taking place from 2:00 – 3:00 pm on Sunday, August 23rd, 2015.

It’s free, and each student will receive a Platinum Preppy in his or her choice of colour. If your child has another pen, pencil or favourite fountain pen they’d like to use, please bring it along! Parents or care-givers are more than welcome to hang out around the shop, or grab a coffee in and around Leslieville and give your child a chance to just sit and have fun.

Space is limited, and you need to register to hold your child’s spot by sending us an email, giving us a call, or visiting us in-store. You will receive a confirmation email upon registration as well as an email reminder the week before the class. Please let us know in advance if there are any special needs or accommodations.

Handwriting and Cursive Writing Class for Kids Wonder Pens Toronto Canada

The goal here is to introduce or reinforce cursive writing skills and hopefully enjoy it! Practice makes perfect, though, and while I’m not giving homework, students should be able to go home and continue to practise some of these skills 😉

If all goes well, we may have more classes!

Pilot Kakuno :)

When we receive shipments in from our distributors or manufacturers, Jon likes to organize it all in a calm and efficient manner – clearing off space, getting invoices out, counting. He hates it when he’s trying to count the pens and it seems like something is missing, but it’s really just already in my hand and full of ink. I’ve been trying my best to resist, but it’s been pretty exciting over the last few days as we’ve gotten a few boxes from Pilot with special order items from Japan. It hasn’t even been anything so tremendously anticipated, like the Blue Midori’s or last year’s Stormy Grey ink, but I guess it’s like when you order stuff online, and it finally arrives at your doorstep!

Pilot is actually distributed by Crestar here in Canada, but we sometimes ask them to special order items from Japan that aren’t stocked regularly. It’s a bit of organizing (and a lot of guesswork to get these special orders timed right, but the folks at Crestar are really great people 🙂

Pilot Kakuno Wonder Pens wonderpens.ca Toronto Canada

The first of these new pens to share is the Pilot Kakuno is probably the one I’m most excited about. We have a few different colours in the two available nib sizes, fine & medium. Depending on how things go, we may expand the colours and nib sizes. I sometimes hear about parents and kids interested in handwriting and writing, and I’m not sure if it’s that I’m listening more or that there is really a growing interest in it all.

With a Fine Nib we have: Grey & Blue
With a Medium Nib we have: Grey, Green, Orange & Pink

The pen comes with only a cartridge! No converter included. Pilot is proprietary, so you’ll need to get either more Pilot cartridges or a Pilot Converter.

This is a pen marketed towards school-aged children to help them learn how to write with pens or fountain pens, similar to the Lamy ABC. The Kakuno has a friendly font on the cap, which you can purchase in the different colours, and the pen itself is a bit smaller and slightly chunkier than the Metropolitan. What the Kakuno is most well-known for, though, is a bit hard to notice unless you’re looking for it: it has a smiley face on its nib.

Pilot Kakuno Wonder pens wonderpens.ca Toronto Canada

Supposedly this smiley face is to help remind kids that you write with the pen nib side up. I feel a bit like once you learn that it’s supposed to be nib side up, you don’t need too many reminders, so I like to think the smiley face is just there to be a friendly face in life… then again, maybe it’s been too long since I’ve been around school-aged children. I recall having to remind 13-year-olds that pencils are for writing with, not putting up a nostril, and then putting back into the communal pencil jar.

It was a coin toss between the orange and the green for me, but I already have a Copper Orange Al-Star and a TWSBI 580 AL in orange, so it was the green.

Pilot Kakuno Wonderpens.ca Wonder Pens Toronto Canada

I waffle back and forth between wanting my inks to match the general colour of the pen, but I happened to have Rohrer & Klinger’s Alt-Goldgrun on my desk. It’s one of my favourite greens, a good spring/summer/fall ink, but also good at Christmas, so it’s basically a year-round sort of ink.

This is a medium nib in the Kakuno, which will be the same as the medium Metropolitan, but closer to a European Fine (Lamy Fine, Kaweco Fine). Japanese nibs tend to write a bit finer than European nibs.

Rohrer & Klingner Alt Gold-Grün Pilot Kakuno Wonder pens wonderpens.ca Toronto Canada

The grip is a translucent, bur dark, and is also triangular shaped, which helps guide your fingers into the right angle for writing. It’s not as pronounced or defined as the Lamy Safari/Al-Star grip, a bit more rounded or softer.

It’s a pretty light pen, made out of plastic, so it will be good for longer writing sessions. The plastic is super durable, maybe in anticipation of getting knocked around a bit. The snap cap is secure, closing and opening with a solid snap, and will post on the back of the pen securely. There’s no clip, but both the cap and the body are hexagonal so they won’t roll off your desk.

The nib is basically the same as the Metropolitan, except that it has a smiley face on it. It’s smooth, firm and a nice wetness. This is a pen you don’t have to worry about.

Pilot Kakuno Wonderpens.ca Wonder Pens Toronto Canada

The Pilot Kakuno is just a cute, sweet pen. If you like the Metropolitan and how it writes, you will also like the Kakuno.

It’s great for students and children, but it’s also just a fun pen that’s – like all Pilot pens, such as the Metropolitan, the 78G, the Prera – reliable, consistent and easy to write with. Sometimes that’s what it comes down to – the pen just writes when pull it out of your pocket, uncap it and put it to paper. A great all around pen.



Fountain Pens for Kids

Usually around September we get a few parents coming by looking for fountain pens for their kids. Often these are parents whose children are in Montessori or private schools, and a fountain pen is on the school supply list provided. Many of these schools teach cursive writing and want their students to have proper tools for this experience.

Of course, hand in hand with running a fountain pen shop is treasuring hand writing, and I know many of my former students loved writing with fountain pens, although part of it may have been the novelty.

I know September has come and gone, but I figure with the holiday season around the corner, a few ideas may help with the gift-giving.

Fountain Pens for Kids, Fountain Pens for Children

Aside from the debate of whether or not cursive writing should be taught in schools, I think no one can argue with kids practising and building on their fine motor skills in writing, and fountain pens can be part of the fun of it.

Here are some fountain pens for kids:

1. For the kid that has never used a fountain pen, and just wants to have fun: the Platinum Preppy.

These are inexpensive pens that come in different colours and have large capacity cartridges. Because they’re so inexpensive, you don’t need to worry about the nib breaking or the barrel cracking, or if it’s left under the couch for two months before the vacuum finds it.

Platinum Preppy

Platinum Preppy

The pen is available in a rainbow of colours, with cartridges to match, so kids can pick their favourite colours, or one of each. This is great for kids to learn how to write with fountain pens, and they’re fun enough to make writing and drawing exciting.

2. For the kid that is ready to take care of a pen and use it regularly: the Lamy ABC.
Also, for the kid that is ready to take writing seriously.

This is one of my favourite pens, maybe because I am a former teacher. It’s available with a red or blue cap, and even comes with name label. The pen has a softer grip section than the Lamy Safari, but it still has some shape to help ensure proper grip. It comes with an “A” nib, which is between a fine and medium and slightly rounder, so good for kids to write with. Later on, you can swap these out for another nib size or a calligraphy nib as well.

Lamy ABC Fountain Pen

Lamy ABC Fountain Pen

Lamy cartridges for these guys are also quite large, so you don’t have to worry about fiddling around with cartridges as often. However, a big advantage is that this a pen for a kid to “grow into”  – you can also get a converter and teach your kid to fill it with bottled ink when he or she is ready.

3. For the kid who may step on, drop, throw around or sit on their pen: the Kaweco Sport.

These Kaweco Sports are super. They’re on the smaller size (portable), so kid hands don’t have to wield a jumbo sword, and they fit nicely into pencil cases or tuck into pockets. The plastic on this is pretty hard to break, and the cap is a twist on, so you don’t have to worry about the cap popping off or the barrel cracking at the bottom of a backpack.

Kaweco Sport Fountain Pen

Kaweco Sport Fountain Pen

They take standard international cartridges, which are easy to find anywhere, and are available in a multitude of colours. The pen itself is available in a bunch of colours too – black, green, blue, burgundy, clear, and this new mint. You can get any nib from extra fine to double broad, or even italic nibs, but I would recommend a medium nib to get started.

4. For the creative, artsy kid that likes using bottled ink: the Pilot 78G (medium nib).

Most of the time, parents or adults who come in are pretty confident that they want to get a pen that takes cartridges. As someone who runs a pen store, I can say that a spilled bottle of ink is no fun. However, every once in a while, there is a young artist, a very responsible young artist, who would love a bottle of ink. The very notion of a fountain pen and a bottle of ink is too romantic to pass up (don’t we all know this…).

The Pilot 78G is a Japanese pen available in fine or medium, and I would recommend getting a medium nib because the fine is very fine. It comes with a converter, so you can use bottled ink. The 78G is a bit of a cult classic pen, and we get it straight from Japan. Available in black, teal, green, red. It also has a bit of a vintage flair.

Pilot 78G

Pilot 78G

On a side note, I didn’t think of this when I took the picture (which features a bottle of Rohrer & Klingner), but if you’re getting this pen and ink for a kid, I would probably recommend a bottle of J. Herbin ink to go with it. Not only are their bottles pretty and available in pretty colours, more importantly they have a wide base and are difficult to tip over.

For grandparents hoping to exchange letters with grandchildren, parents hoping their kids will develop master penmanship, or kids who just like to write and draw. Also, fun stocking stuffers!