Very busy making marks!!

From pincer to palmar, digital to tripod; offering children a wealth of opportunities and tools to practise all these different grasps is essential to help them develop their early handwriting skills/ability… Whether it be dough play to strengthen little hands and fingers, threading to refine fine motor control, making shapes in the air with ribbon sticks, tracing patterns in sand or salt and glitter… all of these fabulous early years fun activities are essential pre-cursors to developing early writing skills. Forcing a pen in hand too soon is not the way to develop amazing writers… but preparing hands for strengthened grips and increased fine motor (physical) control through a variety of play opportunities is!Even better when mark-making tools are varied and exciting… cue dog pens (that specifically encourage palmar grasp (and are also brilliant at aiding hand/eye coordination as heads are joined again to bodies as ‘lids’ are placed back on again after drawing!), felt-tips, highlighters, sharpies, pencil crayons… the list goes on!Then don’t forget the best position to draw in…Literally any way your child is comfortable!!!This may be laid down on their tummy, kneeling on the floor, sat with legs astride and leaning over paper, sat on a chair at a table top, using a clipboard… So why not have a hunt at home and gather as many types and colours of pens, pencils, crayons, ‘bingo’ dabbers etc you can muster and grab the hugest piece of paper or card you can find (it could be an opened out Amazon box, it could be the back of a roll of old wallpaper from the loft?!) and set to on the floor in mark-making bliss as you create your shared masterpiece…Will your little one choose to lay, kneel, crouch, squat, cross their legs… or will they ask you to move the paper to the dining room table rather than the floor?Then as they make their magical marks are they favouring one (dominant) hand over the other, are they utilising pincer or palmar grasp, are they comfortable using their drawing implement of choice? Do they create HUGE movements or tiny ones? Can they draw a circle? Can they make both clockwise and anti-clockwise motions? Can they copy your wavy, zig-zaggy, swirly, twirly lines and patterns if you ask them to?So much information can be obtained by observing their mark-making closely and from what you’ll closely observe you’ll then know what to plan for them next…Do you need to get the dough out to strengthen their fingers and ultimately help them with the holding of pens? Do they find certain movements trickier? Maybe you could then get the chalks out and create HUGE patterns on the wall/fence/pavement? (Encouraging amazing arm movements!)Or perhaps get out a bucket of water and a paintbrush and set to making marks on the fence… huge movements can be explored; really developing their gross motor control… moving arms backwards and forwards, up and down, across the body…Have fun as you make marvellous marks together as everything you do through their play now will support their future success in school and life beyond as amazing writers ♥️📝xxxx