Jun 6, 2023

From scribbles to stories: A mark-making journey

Sophie Allen
Sophie Allen
From scribbles to stories: A mark-making journey

As a parent, you are always fascinated by your child's development milestones, and one of the most exciting ones is their journey into mark-making. Mark-making is an essential aspect of a child's cognitive and creative development, allowing them to explore their imagination and express their thoughts and emotions. 

In this blog, we will delve into what you can expect from your 1-2 year old's mark-making endeavours, and how you can support and encourage their creative expression.

Emergence of Scribbles and Lines:

Around the age of 1, your little one will begin to show an interest in holding and manipulating writing tools such as crayons and markers. Initially, their scribbles may appear random and uncontrolled, consisting of simple lines and loops.

Embrace these first attempts, as they lay the foundation for more sophisticated mark-making skills later on.

Encourage your child's curiosity by providing age-appropriate materials, such as chunky crayons or washable markers, to explore and experiment with.

Exploring Colours and Textures:

As your child progresses closer to their second birthday, they will start to show a preference for specific colours and textures. They may begin to notice and name basic colours, and will enjoy experimenting with different materials like finger paints or chalk. Introduce them to a variety of art supplies and let them explore the sensory experience of making marks with their fingers, brushes, or even household items like sponges. This process not only enhances their fine motor skills but also stimulates their sensory development.

Developing Fine Motor Skills:

Mark-making is a fantastic way to support the development of your child's fine motor skills. At this stage, you can expect them to grasp writing tools with a palmar grip, using their whole hand. However, as they approach 2 years of age, you'll notice a shift towards a more refined digital grasp, where they use their thumb and fingers. Encourage their fine motor development by providing activities that promote hand-eye coordination, such as using large beads, puzzles, or building blocks.

Encouraging Imagination and Communication:

Mark-making serves as a gateway for your child to express their thoughts, emotions, and stories. As they progress towards their second year, they may demonstrate recognition of familiar objects and attempt to communicate through their drawings. Encourage their imaginative play by asking open-ended questions about their marks or providing prompts like "Tell me about your picture." This fosters their language development and helps them associate meaning with their mark-making efforts.

Supportive Environment and Displaying Artwork:

Create a nurturing environment that values your child's mark-making efforts. Set up a designated space for them to explore their creativity, such as a low table with art supplies within reach. Display their artwork on a wall or refrigerator to celebrate their achievements and boost their self-esteem. Remember, it's the process and exploration that matter most, not the end result.

Group of children colouring

As your little one embarks on their mark-making journey, remember that each child progresses at their own pace. Embrace their early scribbles, encourage their exploration of colours and textures, and provide a supportive environment that celebrates their creativity. By fostering their mark-making skills, you're helping them develop crucial cognitive, fine motor, and communication skills. Enjoy this magical phase of your child's development, and cherish the precious moments as they unleash their imagination through mark-making.

Remember to have fun with your child's mark-making activities and cherish the unique masterpieces they create at this stage of their development.


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