Letting your baby or toddler get creative with their hands can be more than just a great way to keep them busy whilst you grab 5 minutes. Colouring and drawing have so many great benefits that early year’s specialists recommend we get our little ones interested in these mark-making types of activities as early as they are able to. Even babies as young as 10 months can display an interest in mark marking – which you can do all sorts of materials, including paint, chalk, water, mud, sand, shaving foam and even foods.
Here we take a quick look at why mark making is so important and the benefits it brings to your child’s development.
Fine motor skills
Motor skills are the level of coordination required between small muscles and our nervous system to be able to control small movements. Drawing helps your child to strengthen the muscles in their hands and fingers which are essential for later learning to write. This is the same skill that your child will also learn whilst learning to feed themselves.
Hand-eye co-ordination is the ability to do activities that involve your hands and eyes working together. Mark making helps your baby to recognise their eyes and hands are working together to produce their drawing. Hand-eye co-ordination is vital to your child’s development as this will help them to learn to write and copy letters and numbers.
Children often think about what they draw and connect words and images together in their minds. By thinking, they are using words in their head and developing their language. Adults can encourage their language development by asking their child about their drawing and asking them to explain what it is they have drawn.
Cognitive development is how children think, explore and figure things out. It includes learning how to problem solve and the development of skills and knowledge. When drawing children are leaning to identify colours and how to co-ordinate and draw as well as much more. This is great for developing the brain.We’ve incorporated the benefits of mark making into one of our newest product ranges - Snack & Doodle. These handy reusable food bags have a drawing mat on the reverse, helping your little one to get creative wherever they may be.