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Even Shakespeare Started with a Mark…..

10 February 2017

Writing is an important and life-long skill that begins in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Your child will notice adults around them reading and writing and they will want to copy them. Mark-making is the first step towards writing. Mark-making in the early stages is closely linked to physical development. The more opportunities your child has to develop large and small movement in their arms, hands and fingers, the easier it will be to make marks with a variety of tools.

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  • Mark Making
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Activities such as digging, ‘painting’ outdoor surfaces with water and a large brush, sweeping, and swishing a scarf through the air in different shapes will help develop large motor movement. Small or fine motor movement will be needed to hold pencils and pens correctly. Hanging out the washing and playing with pegs, using a pegboard and picking up grains of rice with fingers and tweezers will help develop the pincer grip needed for writing.

In the early stages of learning to write, your child will like to experiment, making marks on paper with a variety of writing tools such as brushes, pens, pencils, chalks and felt-tip markers. They will often include drawings with their writing. Sometimes you will write for them. It is a good idea at this stage to use lower-case letters when you write for your child, introducing capitals only for the beginning of names.

Ways you can support your children at home - other things to do at home:

  • Read every day to your child.
  • Set up a place where your child can experiment with mark-making, both outside and inside, using gloop(cornflour and water), paint, pens, stamps and stencils onto a variety of surfaces such as paper, cardboard and material.
  • Collect a variety of pencils and pens, and keep them handy for your child.
  • Create a special writing bag to keep little writing tools in, for travelling in the car or when visiting the doctor’s. Change the contents regularly.
  • Experiment using sticks in muddy puddles to draw and write with.

Ways you can support your children at home - what to do if your child is reluctant to read or write at home:

It is important not to worry if your child shows no inclination to write at home; the important thing is to keep on sharing books and talking together. There is no need to insist that your child does some writing – more often than not they will choose to do so when they have a real reason to.