Mark making activities to develop gross motor skills
Gross motor mark making activities are great fun and a brilliant way to encourage early mark making skills. There are many stages a child needs to be able to accomplish before the skill of writing can begin; this starts with gross motor movements. More about the stages involved in learning to write can be found here.
Before children can learn to hold a pencil correctly and use this to form letters they first need to master skills such as using the shoulder to make arm movements or the elbow. They also need to begin to understand that these movements had an impact and gross motor mark making is a great way to achieve this.
Top gross motor mark making activities
Some of the most popular and easy to do gross motor activities include –
· Whole body painting – This involves placing a large sheet of paper on the floor and allowing the children to explore the paint and make marks however they like such as using their feet, hands, knees and elbows. This promotes gross motor skills and knowledge of cause and effect
· Giant child Spirograph – Lay a large sheet of paper on the floor and then gets the children to lay on their fronts or backs. The Children then have to hold a pen in each hand with their arms stretched out and move the arms up and down or their bodies round on the floor to make Spirograph type patterns.
· Mop Painting – Wallpaper is great for this or large rolls of craft paper, place the long strip off paper on the floor and allow the children to dip mops into paint and then to mop the paper. This strengthens many of the arm muscles and again teaches about the effects tools can have marks.
· Under table marks – tape a sheet of paper to the underneath of a table and then get the children to lay underneath the table and stretch their arms up with pens to make marks on the table. Children always enjoy this den type activity as its something they are not usually able to do.
· Cars and pens – Tape felt tips with the nib facing downwards to cars. Place a large sheet of paper of roll of wallpaper on the floor and encourage the children to push the cars up and down to make marks. Great for gross motor skills and engaging children with strong schemas.
These gross motor activities have many benefits and do a lot more then promote just gross motor skills. Importantly these activities are also great fun and the children love engaging with them as many of them go against normal expectations and norms for activities. It’s not every day children are allowed to paint with mops or draw under tables yet there are so many benefits for thinking outside the box. See our pinterest board for more great gross motor mark making activities here.