The children in this class have been exposed to writing materials on a daily basis. If they were here since infancy, they have the same experience.
What we are finding is that our children make the connection at an earlier age of what they are capable of doing with certain materials. They have moved from the point of exploring with the materials, to understanding that they are “leaving marks”. It is this realization that helps children begin the writing process, in which they begin to explore creating different “scribbles”.
At this age, they enjoy taking the tops off and putting them back on, or feeling the tip of the marker and realizing that they can make marks on their bodies as well. This type of exploring is incredibly important in our eyes
We are witnessing the children understanding the functions of the materials as well. Feeling the top of the marker is important for the child, it is how they begin to understand that this is the only part of the marker that can make a mark. We adults can take for granted that the tops of the markers can easily be placed on the marker, but for children this age………..it is a challenge! They have to focus, have good eye/hand coordination, and it is a great opportunity to incorporate color identification as they put the correct top to the marker.
They take joy in watching their friends next to them explore writing, and it makes the rest of the children engage more. They may draw with more than one marker at a time, with two hands, etc. This helps the children begin to feel more comfortable with what hand they will write with as they get older.
This is an open-ended process where they have the freedom to explore many learning opportunities in something we could possibly see as so simple – markers and paper!