Mark making activities are a great way for little ones to learn through play. They’re great for developing all those pre-writing skills kids need whilst having fun. Mark making can help develop hand-eye co-ordination, fine motor skills, concentration and more. Mark making activities are great for rainy days when you’re cooped up inside and need a nice quiet activity to calm the kiddos down. Here are some of our favourite mark making activities:
Coloured salt is a great mark making activity because you can use it over and over. Just pour it out on a tray, let your little one draw in it with their fingers or a brush, then give the tray a little shake to start all over again! I just coloured ordinary table salt with a couple of drops of food colouring. Pop it in a sealed container, give it a good shake then pour out into a tray and leave to dry.
DIY Scratch Art
You can make your own scratch art using a couple of simple craft items. First start with some stiff card and colour over the whole page with wax crayon. You can use as many colours as you like and cover the card any way you choose. The more colours you use, the prettier it will be when it’s finished! Next, get some black poster paint and paint over the whole thing. Leave it to dry then let your little ones scratch away! We used cake decorating tools (99p from eBay) but a cocktail stick, or even the end of a thin paintbrush would work too.
Painting on foil
This is a great sensory activity for toddlers and babies too. Just grab the kitchen foil and a few paints and let them get to work. As a baby, O loved finger painting on foil. When he got a bit older, he used a paintbrush to practice letter writing.
I love me a good sensory bag, and they’re great for developing pre-writing skills. You can fill sensory bags with whatever you like, but for mark making, I find paint or hair gel work really well. Find out how to make glittery sensory bags here.
This one is super simple and can be done inside or outdoors in the sunshine. All you need is a paintbrush, water and a piece of paper/fence/floor. Let your little one get creative with their wet brush then let it dry and start all over again!
Wipeable writing sheets
As O is getting a little older, he’s more insterested in trying to actually write rather than just make marks and scribbles. So I made him so pre-writing activity sheets. These are just pieces of card with shapes drawn on, covered in sticky back plastic. He uses his finger to trace over the lines. then a felt tip pen. When he’s finished we wipe it clean and it can be used over and over. These have also gone down really well with homemade playdough. He loves rolling out pieces of playdough and cutting them to the right lengths to cover the lines.