Something we take very seriously is the scribbles that our children make. They are not “meaningless.” There is purpose behind the marks the children make and by analyzing them, we can understand their first “alphabet.” Their scribbles start as dots and lines and have slowly advanced into shapes. Using different colored chalk, the children began using their paintbrushes to draw circles. Some circles had one starting point and one end point while others continued and had various starting points.
Before a child verbally speaks, they are speaking in other ways. Scribbles and doodling seem like an impulse for children, a way for their brain to process and communicate what’s around them. It comes from a need to give physical form to one’s thoughts. While scribbles on a piece of paper may seem like just that, scribbles on a piece of paper, your child is communicating something to you from the way they understand it.
“As your toddler grows and their understanding of the world broadens, they start to see images in their drawings. This is an important step as they are now connecting drawing with thoughts and are realizing that images can be represented in drawings.” – Kate
Typically the developmental order for children’s scribbles start horizontal line, vertical line, circle, plus sign, square, diagonal line, triangle and then diamond.
Your child’s scribbles are important because there is a developmental progression happening that will eventually lead to writing. Additionally, there have been hundreds of studies conducted on how doodling helps attention, creativity, improves communication, learning, retention, and developmental skills. Doodling also allows your child to develop hand-eye coordination, improve dexterity, develop expressive thinking, and it encourages early literacy.
Instead of tossing out the scrap piece of paper that your child scribbled on, try asking them about it. See what they tried to communicate with you, sketch pictures with them, and most importantly, and encourage them to doodle.