Hello, my name is Becky. I have been a teacher of young children for many years and I also teach other teachers too!
I think it is really important for children and grown- ups to have fun exploring things together. I like to think of things to do that everyone can join in and have a go, whatever your age.
Today we will be exploring making marks. Mark making is something that people have been doing for hundreds of years, from cave painting and Egyptian hieroglyphics to drawing, writing and decorating.
When you do big mark making activities this helps to strengthen your shoulders, elbows and wrists which is really important to help you when you are learning to write.
We are going to do some messy things today too, so I hope you can find a space to play outside, maybe in your garden or a park nearby. Have you got some old clothes you can wear, or an apron?
This is what we are going to do today to make our marks.
(Outdoors) Water marks with brushes and water and a surface outside in the sunshine so we can see the marks disappear as they evaporate.
(Indoors) Musical marks with paper and a felt-tip pen whilst listening to some music you love or listening to new music you have never heard before.
(Outdoors) Splashy scatter painting marks which can be a very messy activity but is fabulous fun!
(Indoors) Floury marks involves using flour and water on a tray and getting your fingers nice and sticky!
Happy mark making.
Using a variety of old brushes, such as decorating brushes and a bucket of water, this is a simple activity which can be carried out outside in the sunshine.
Children love the water disappearing as it evaporates and will spend hours ‘painting’ fences, paving slabs and walls with water.
A cheap and portable activity.
Using both hands to paint simultaneously encourages children to develop their bi-lateral skills.
This is a joyful activity and can be used to help children express their emotions, from playing calming music to bouncy rhythmic music. Children often move their bodies innately to music, and this activity helps them to listen carefully and respond by moving their pen on the paper to correspond to how they are ‘hearing’ the sounds. This is representational mark making. They are representing the music in marks.
Play calming music before bedtime or when children need some quiet time and encourage them to mark-make to the music to help regulate their emotions.
You can widen your child’s musical experience and introduce them to music from different cultures too. Happy pen dancing!
Splashy Scatter Paint Marks
This is a messy but fun activity. It can be done over a bath or in a shower to help ‘catch’ some splashes and drips if you have not got access to outside. You can contain the paint more easily if you choose to use a squeezy bottle or squirty spray bottle instead.
You will need some old clothes or an apron.
Dilute paint to the consistency you require depending on whether you are using a paint brush, squirty bottle or spray bottle. A paint brush is less contained and the paint tends to travel further!
The abstract designs that often emerge from this type of mark making are dramatic and can be used as pictures on the wall.
I would love to see some of your work in the gallery.
This is a tactile activity which even babies can join in with. Simply using some plain flour or cornflour and water children can see and feel the marks they make at the same time. This is a great multi-sensory activity which means that children are using more than one sense simultaneously (touch and sight). Why not add a drop of peppermint essence to involve the sense of smell as well, or some food colouring to make it even more visual.
Children will often stay at a tactile activity like this for a long time. Let them experiment and mix their own flour mixture for mark making. Perhaps they can use different kitchen implements too, like wooden spoons or spatulas to make marks in the floury mixture.
Choose different music each day and spend a few minutes making a music mark picture diary for a week. This is a great way to listen to music from around the world.
Use your scatter pictures to ‘frame’ for a birthday present for a friend or relative or turn it into wrapping paper or paper chains and bunting.
Draw simple patterns for your child to trace over with their fingers or pens to support pencil control skills
Listen to ‘Harold and the Purple Crayon’ by Crockett Johnson