For so many of us writing is second nature and we do it without much thought at all, however, for children it is a brand-new skill that requires lots of time, practice and importantly encouragement.
Learning to write starts from a young age with mark making, which can just look like scribbles on a piece of paper, but these lines and circles are the first step towards writing.
Mark making isn’t just the early stages of a child learning to write but mark making can also help children physically with motor skills but also plays a role in the development of their imagination and the creative skills. When they begin to hold crayons and make marks a whole new way to express themselves is opened as they can begin to express their thoughts and feelings without having to rely solely on verbal communication.
As they begin to enjoy mark making children may begin to share their thoughts and feelings with the adults around them by telling stories as they mark or by sharing their completed picture with you offering an insight as to what the lines and circles represent and mean to them.
How can you help?
A great way to help your child develop their skills is to help them decide on a grip that works best for them, this will help to develop the muscle control in their hands and the hand-eye coordination needed to refine this skill.
Help them to explore with mark making
One of the best ways to help your children to develop this skill is through your encouragement. Mark making isn’t just about using a pencil and some paper, as they begin to show interest this is the time to get creative. You can use finger painting, hand and foot prints and even making stamps from fruit and vegetables to create some interesting images with your child telling you what is happening and being created as you go.
One of the key elements to remember is to respond with enthusiasm to the marks that your child is making, praising them for their hard work and spending time listening to them as they explain all about the picture and story they have created as you enthuse their confidence will blossom helping them to make sense of the wider world and expressing their feelings in a creative way, whilst reaping the developmental benefits on the route to learning to write.