When it is raining and your little munchkin is zealous to go outside and play or when you are busy and your toddler is nagging for your attention, one of the best things you could do is give them a few crayons, a big sheet of paper and show them how to use those. This not only keeps your child busy but also helps in developing fine motor skills and attaining victory over the creative milestones such as scribbling and drawing.
Age for learning Scribbling and Drawing:
Learning scribbling and drawing is a gradual process. Though it is never “too early” for this process, in the last few months of the baby’s first year, your child improves his fine motor skills, strength and hand-eye coordination steadily and get set for his first scribbles.
Around the month of 15, your child may be able to scribble. By 18 months, your toddler might start to have fun drawing and painting with crayons, washable felt tips and paints. At this age, they might hold the crayon or brush with their whole hand and draw by making larger movements. Between the age of two and three, they learn to hold the crayon or brush between their thumb and first two fingers.
Encouraging your toddler:
Tape the paper to table or floor. Lining wallpaper could also be used. Give your kid the crayons and let them draw to their heart content.
Offer your toddler thick and sturdy crayons and washable pens which are easy to hold and of different colours. You could also give chunky stones to use on paving stones.
Go out to the local park or your garden and get loads of different leaves of different shape and different texture. Ask your toddler dip it in the paint and paint it on the paper and see what all prints and patterns your toddler could make. Though it might get messy with the paint all over and squashed leaves, it might be fun to get there.
Encourage your child to experiment and explore. Don’t give him any instructions other than telling him how to use the crayons. Let him put his hands in the paint, mix it up, see what all colours he can create by mixing different colours and let him paint and scribble all over the paper. This will be a good amusement for your child and also helps in building his confidence.
Praise him. Appreciate his efforts. Display his scribbles on the wall or on the refrigerator. This helps your child in knowing his scribbles and drawings are valued and this encourages him to do more and more
Benefits of Scribbling and Drawing:
Scribbling and drawing help in brain development, improving fine motor skills and cognitive skills.
1. Cause and Effect Relationship:
Scribbling or making random marks on the paper teaches about the “Cause and Effect” relationship to your child. He gradually understands that each stroke he does leaves a mark on the paper. Eventually, this scribbling takes a shape and plays a major role in developing writing skills.
Freedom to express themselves on paper helps your child to learn about self-control, independence and to take responsibility for their own judgment.
3. Creative thinking:
The freedom your offer your child to express himself on the paper is directly proportional to how creative he becomes. The coloring books limit their creativity. It is best to offer crayons and paper and let them scribble to their heart’s content.
4. Visualizing outcome:
Your child is understanding that the crayon he uses leaves a mark. He is starting to visualize the outcomes and learning symbolic thinking which means he is understanding that his drawings could represent things.
With the exploration of unknown world of creativity, your child is learning the importance of each stroke she makes on paper and training themselves in risk-taking
At controlled scribbling stage, your child learns problem-solving techniques.
The more your child scribbles, the more organized they become about their thoughts and start giving meaningful expressions to their random scribbling
8. Gross and fine motor development:
Controlled scribbling helps in improving gross and fine motor skills.