Has your baby held a crayon or pencil yet? Research states that around 12 months of age, a baby is ready to start exploring with the ideas of creating marks on paper. These early marks and scribbles are the first steps that eventually lead to drawing and writing. The development of writing and drawing is similar to the development of talking in that the pictures or words do not come out conventionally at first. Just as your young child might say “ba” to mean “bottle,” a simple line or squiggle on a paper may represent a picture and you are encouraged to embrace your child’s creations. Allow your child to “write” his or her name on a paper and celebrate together that the mark is his or her way of writing his or her name at that stage of development.
Find age appropriate writing implements, such as big, fat crayons, chalk, or even big washable markers. Get some paper, sit down together and enjoy some creative fun while your child is on the way to becoming a successful writer and artist!