Thursday, 24 March 2011

Mark Making

Since having young children I have become interested in the ways they develop.  In particular, encouraging them in pre reading and writing.  Before children learn to write, they experiment with making marks of various kinds.  Often this can be with pencils/crayons and paper but if you get a little bit creative, you can give them opportunities to make marks using different methods.  Some examples are; using finger paints, a thin layer of salt or sand in a tray, in the soil.  I'm sure you can think of more.  Give your child the chance to use different tools to make marks; cutlery, cotton buds, sponges, brushes, whatever you can find!
I was clearing out some old art books I had as a teenager from my parents loft space and I came across an idea which is great for encouraging early mark making.  You can see Boy and Girl having a go!  Make a thickish batter using flour and water and add some paint.  Spread a layer over a sheet of paper and then let the children make patterns and marks using a variety of tools.  We used plastic cutlery, cotton buds, brushes, fingers and Mr M made some out of cardboard.

Boy especially enjoyed this activity and was keen to try and write his name.  He doesn't usually want to do drawing so this is a good way of encouraging him to explore mark making.  Wearing his cowboy apron here!
Girl is a fan of drawing anyway so she really took to this too.  Once the pictures/patterns are finished and dry you can cut them up and use them to make cards or gift tags, or just add them to your children's gallery!

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