This child is three and a half and found that after examining her face she needed to trace the mirror she had been using. She has been exploring the shape of a circle and the concept of “round”. This is another extension to her first inquiry. Every time this child explores the concept of “round” she does so in a way that is tactile and concrete. Building her understanding by using her senses. Next her hand is traced. And I did not inspire these learning experiences. This child wanted to paint so we set it up and away she went with her own ideas.
This child is in between the early literacy stage of scribbles to symbolic representation of objects, thoughts and ideas. Literacy development takes years and is not a process to be rushed or forced. As a Teacher it is my job to create and set up an environment that allows children to naturally engage in ways to express themselves. Allowing the developmental process of learning to happen through “play”. I can add, extend and dialogue with each child to find where he/ she is on the literacy and artistic journey.
Going back and forth between the scribble stage and symbolic representation is normal development and is a process we do not need to rush. I love to observe, listen and question to find out how to add more challenging materials and curriculum that supports the early literacy and artistic development emerging before my eyes. The letter “K” and “I” are represented above. This did not happen due to my influence though, it happened out of pure chance. And this child took time to really examine what she had created. I did not comment for fear she was not ready for these symbols to have meaning. If by chance she wasn’t ready, they would soon be covered up with more paint. So be careful about commenting on a child’s work. We want to respect their free expression without our bias.
Play-dough is a staple in most early learning programs due to the fact that is is a wonderful open-ended way for young children to develop eye-hand coordination, strengthen fine motor skills and be as creative as they want! You don’t have to provide cookie cutters for perfect pictures in the dough. Allow children to form their own expectations with objects you may not normally think of to use. Incorporate colors so children continue to explore and discover not only real world shapes, but real world colors. We don’t always have to add traditional boxed curriculum ideas. Break down barriers on how to learn and allow the natural scientist to emerge! 🙂
By only placing primary colors on the table at first, this child created green and purple was next! The look of pure joy and discovery on this child’s face made me so happy! Her art work is so creative, and again is showing the transition from scribble to symbolic representation.
Scribble writing can be a fascinating process of literacy development to observe and be a part of . The attention to detail this child gives is a sign of internal interest. Exploring writing in a way that she interprets at a young age, then exploring shapes through her scribbles and even taking time to feel the rolling motion of colored pencils all support and extend this child’s beginning writing and artistic talents. And along the way she is gaining understanding of shapes and colors too. Learning does not stop at one content area. Learning is fluid and interacts to enable children to tap into a world of knowledge as they grow and discover.
Support your child’s need to learn by enrolling them in a quality preschool program. And do some research to find out what theories are being implemented in the programs you are looking at. Do not just go by a worksheet and primary colors. Really take the time to learn about early learning theories and the ones that resonate most with your outlook on life.
Heidi Scott, BA & MIT
The Marigold School of Early Learning! 🙂