Scribble scribble



© Sarah Lipoff 2010

My daughter is just about two and totally in love with coloring. She will use anything and everything to make marks and lines whenever she can. Not only is she really into scribbling, she spends good chunks of time concentrating while working – which is pretty amazing for this age! Most almost-two-year-olds have a three-second attention span.


So, for those of you out there with a wee tot about the same age, you’ve probably exhausted all patience for scribbles. You’ve put out countless crayons, markers, crayons again, and even pencils for your child to experiment with and now have a fridge covered in scribbles. The scribble stage is the first developmental stage of art, and your child’s first foray into developing his fine-motor skills, concentration, and creativity. Fine-motor skills are the ability to pinch and grasp, which builds those growing itty-bitty muscles in your child’s hands. And, yes, your child may find scribbling to be the next best thing until he’s around the age of three, or even up to the age of five!

There are lots of fun and exciting ways to encourage your little scribbler. At our house, we have some favorite go-to activities that are simple and also great for development. I think you’ll find if you take the time to play and scribble with your child, you’ll both have a rewarding time creating together!

Music and marks – Listening to music gets kids moving – and also motivates budding brains to think in mathematical ways! Tape a sheet of paper on a work surface for your child. If you have a table he can easily reach on his own, he’ll feel free to make his marks. Otherwise, set your child up in the high chair or a booster seat at the table so he can wiggle around safely. Now play some fun music! Encourage your child to move and groove while using crayons to scribble to the beat. If he seems to be losing interest, try changing the music and see how he responds!

Painting surprise – Using a paintbrush gets a bit boring after a while, so mix things up by introducing your child to something different, such as a feather, leaf, or branch! Pre-mix some water downed tempera paint on paper plates along with putting out a collection of new and interesting painting tools. Craft feathers are always enjoyable to dip and delicately make lines and sprigs from evergreen trees or long leaves from flowers are lots of fun, too! Encourage your artist to mix his paints together to see what colors he creates – introducing basic color theory concepts!

Glue mess – Glue is sticky and ooey-gooey. Some youngsters aren’t excited about getting their hands messy, so why not use a glue bottle as a mark making tool! Your child can squeeze away at a slightly opened glue bottle and scribble all over a black piece of construction paper. This project has the potential to get messy, so set your child up for success at a work table along with taping the corners of his paper so it doesn’t slid all over the place. You can help your child get started by squeezing some glue on his paper and then letting him continue to scribble and squeeze. Let the paper dry overnight and the next day, he can scribble all over that dried glue with colored chalk! What fun – and super cool!

So, what are you waiting for? Go scribble!

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