The Benefits of Scribbling

Emergent literacy involves not only reading but also writing. One of the emergent literacy activities that children love is to scribble on a piece of paper. But if you were a skeptic, you might wonder whether children are doing this because they want to see the marks they make or whether they just like exercising their hand and arm in that way.

“Writing” may be so much fun for children because they get to change something. They get to take white sheets of paper and cover them with color and designs exactly the way they like. This allows children to begin to use their imaginations and their curiosity. Parents can ask their child questions such as what did you draw on your paper, or tell me a story about your picture and so on. Children love when an adult is interested in their activity. Never tell a child that they are not drawing or coloring correctly because there is no right or wrong when they are toddlers. As children grow, their drawings begin to take more shape and you begin to see signs of words and letters. Be there to support your child’s learning by supplying them with crayons, markers, pencils and paint and blank sheets of papers, not coloring books. Give children freedom to color the entire sheet and not worry about coloring between the lines.

Adapted from Einstein Never Used Flash Cards By: Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Diane Eyer