The importance of children enjoying mark making
Mark making in the early years is not be confused with handwriting and does not mean children must be sat learning to form letters however early mark making skills such as drawing, scribbles, circles, painting, making marks in messy play using tools or fingers are all important skills that need to be mastered. These skills give children the necessary skills to be able to form letters and write when they are ready to do so. Often mark making on paper with pens and pencils will not be high on every child’s list of interests however as practitioners it is important that all children are encouraged to have an interest in mark making to provide them with the levels of school readiness they need when they leave the foundation stage. There are many activities that can be done to promote mark making skills such as some of the ideas listed above including messy play, chalks, painting, tools, fingers etc… These are a brilliant way to first get children interested in making marks once this is established you may want to encourage drawing on paper. This article will look at this and how to increase children’s interest in making marks on paper.
Top 10 way to increase interest in mark making
- Easels – Inside, outside, in the construction area. An easel doesn’t have to be confined to the art area it can be placed anywhere and may be a useful to way to engage children who avoid the art or mark making area
- Clipboards – Inside, outside, role play, construction area – Again these don’t have to be confined to one space. If you have children who always go straight to the role play area and are never seen in this area, take the activity to them. Place to resources in the area they always go to and encourage them to use in their activity
- Mark Making shed – Having an outdoor classroom or mark making shed can encourage reluctant mark makers to get involved as something which is usually only seen outdoors can become more exciting if placed outdoors
- Large Scale – Encourage mark making on large paper, rolls of paper are great for this. Activities like drawing around one another are always great fun and promote great mark making skills
- Interests – Remember children are always more interested and engaged if the activity interests them. Give children free reign with their mark making to create whatever they like. Encourage them to draw a picture of the tower they have just built, make marks on paper to list how many cars have gone by, draw a superhero. Adult initiated but child led can often be a great combination to encourage mark making