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Pencil, Meet Paper – 7 Mark Making Videos

From early splatters and smears to the tricky business of wielding a pencil, here's a selection of videos to help you navigate the business of mark making...

  • Pencil, Meet Paper – 7 Mark Making Videos

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The mark making journey starts with discovering the tactile sensations of applying various liquids and other viscous substances to surfaces with the hands - or any other suitable objects you might have at hand.

Soon enough, it’ll be time to convert that finger-splayed smearing and those whole-hand pencil grips into something more controlled and precise, while ensuring that those small hands are appropriately prepared to make the transition. And then the final step – turning those expressive scribbles into deliberate shapes.

You can see the progression mapped out via this pick of mark making videos – some of which will hopefully impart a useful idea or two along the the way…

Sharon Drew shows how a series of common household objects – dish mops, steak tenderisers, sponges – can be used to create all manner of unusual shapes, textures and patterns during early mark making.

This charmingly lo-fi, high concept video produced by Cogan Nursery School sees the character of ‘Dr Zinger’ take viewers through several messy and fun mark making ‘experiments’...

Practitioners can find numerous examples of early years professional practice documented in video form at the The Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub – including this vignette, showing a toddler using coloured pencils to draw. It’s worth clicking through to the full video and checking the description, and taking a look at these supporting notes [PDF[, which highlight moments in the video worth paying particular attention to and points for practitioners and colleagues to consider in more detail.

When the time comes for children to move from using their hands, brushes and other objects to picking up a writing implement, their fingers will need to be ready. This colourfully cheery video from American finger fitness guru Greg Irwin should help get things off to a good start.

For a peppy, upbeat approach to exercising those fingers and building up those fine motor skills, look no further than Shonette Bason’s Dough Disco dance routine, which sees children bopping about while giving their digits a good workout with the aid of some play-dough (though there’s also a specific home-made recipe you can use, if you wish).

From the original video, Bason’s idea has grown over the past few years to encompass a book and even a Guinness World Record attempt, when more than a hundred schools took part in a Dough Disco session at the same time.

Parents have a big part to play in helping to build up their children’s hand and finger dexterity, of course – it might be worth pointing some in the direction of this short video NHS Choices video, which gives a useful overview of the thinking behind mark making activities, and what they can do to help the process along at home.

And finally, here’s a concise video from Michelle Green demonstrating a reliable gripping technique. If you’re in need of some line guide sheets, you can download some from Twinkl for free (registration required) – see here and here.

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