Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Importance of Scribbling

As parents and teachers of toddlers, it is our job to encourage our kids to enjoy the process of art, and that begins with scribbling. It’s easy to get caught up in pushing our children to write letters, draw shapes, and create artwork that actually looks like something. That will come, but developmentally, kids need to scribble first.

Generally, at two years old, given a crayon and blank piece of paper, a toddler will create an uncontrolled scribble. She may choose to use different colors, and some lines may be darker than others, but she is experimenting with the crayon and learning how she can control it to make marks on the paper.

At three, children’s scribbles may become more controlled as they better understand the connection between their actions and the marks they see on the paper. Their movements will still be large and generally unorganized.

By the time most children turn four, they are beginning to show some form and organization in their artwork. As they develop better hand-eye coordination and stronger fine motor skills, their drawings will begin to take shape.

You are doing a disservice to your child if you push her to make recognizable pictures before she’s ready. Let her enjoy the process of putting crayon to paper and she will advance at her own pace.

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