“Scribbles are products of a systematic investigation, rather than haphazard actions” – John Matthews Encourage children to make their mark! Young children have a natural…
The Importance of Handwriting and Mark Making
In a world where technology surrounds us more and more, the temptation to text and type has never been greater. Just think about the number of devices you have lying around your home; tablets, smartphones and computers have quickly become everyday gadgets. The rise of emails, text messages and social media updates have all taken over as our main methods of communication, and unfortunately, the act of writing with a pen is becoming a lost art – when was the last time you wrote a letter or a thank you card?
It’s important for children to have daily experiences with mark making and handwriting in order to develop their skills and enjoy the pleasure of the written word. National Stationery Week is a campaign that aims to get people from all over the world talking and putting pen to paper about why writing by hand is so important. The intention is to get more people, especially children, to send more letters and cards to the people they love, rather than simply sending a text or an email. After all, everyone appreciates the personal touch!
Gross and Fine Motor Skill Development in the Early Years
It’s never too early for children to start the journey into developing their writing, and the gross and fine motor skills they’ll use and improve are key factors in children being able to master legible and fluent handwriting. Control of the muscles in the trunk, neck and shoulders will provide the stability required by the hands and fingers to carry out handwriting tasks and from these gross motor skills, fine motor skills will develop.
When a child starts to experiment with ‘mark-making’, it’s the first step of their journey. Picking up a big thick crayon and making scribbles and lines is their first step in learning how to write, and a way in which they can express themselves freely. Mark-making doesn’t just include pens and pencils however, children can experiment with their hands, feet, pine cones or even rolling toy cars through paint. In fact, they can use anything they can think of that encourages them to be creative!
Mark-making allows children to:
- Develop their creative skills
- Use their imaginations
- Express their personalities
- Experience one of the first stepping stones into writing
The benefits of mark-making are clear. It’s an important time for children to develop a number of skills and with encouragement, their abilities will only grow. Once they’ve learned how to express themselves creatively and begin to write their stories as they get older, who knows where it could lead… you might just have the next J.K. Rowling in your class!