Incorporating mark making outside using a wooden shed
Have you got a wooden shed that you could turn into a mark making shed? This would create a fantastic area outside, encouraging children to develop their mark making skills. This idea has been seen in many settings outdoor areas, and children thoroughly enjoy accessing it, deciding on what resources to use to make marks with.
Having an area outside that is fully resourced with mark making implements will encourage all children of mixed ages to begin making marks. Encouraging children to make marks helps develop early writing skills. Children should be provided with plenty of opportunities to develop their early writing skills. Activities don’t need to be planned, as long as resources are available for children to access and an adult is close by to support.
As the outdoor area should also be a learning environment, it is important that adults equip the environment to meet the areas of the EYFS and children’s individual needs and interests. Having a mark making shed will help develop children’s independence skills, as they can freely choose what resources to explore.
When creating a mark making shed think about what resources you would like to add and ensure children can access these freely. Here are some ideas of what to include;
- Add shelves to the shed, make sure the children can reach the shelves and baskets can fit in between
- Fix hooks to the inside of the doors then hang clipboards from these
- Display letters of the alphabet on the inside of the doors.
- Fix a metal rail to the inside of the door and attach plastic baskets to the rails. Add crayons, chalks etc to the baskets
- Fill wicker baskets with various mark making implements should as different sized crayons, pencils, finger crayons, note boots, luggage labels etc
- Place chalkboards on the shelf for the children to access
To extend this idea further why not at the bottom of the shed use the space as a reading snug. Add cushions, a rug and make this a calm, cosy area. Place books in a wicker basket and place this inside the shed. Having a comfortable area to go to and enjoy a story can help children recharge their batteries and reflect on their learning.
When the children have finished playing outside, the shed can be shut up ready for next time.