For several days recently, a delighted Daisy would keep telling me that it wasn’t my birthday yet! When the day finally arrived, almost bursting with excitement, Daisy handed me an envelope.
This was of course a special birthday moment for me as Daisy had ‘written’ on the envelope and ‘signed’ a birthday card for me.
This moment indicated that Daisy’s early mark making has progressing to making marks for a purpose/ for a reason. Daisy is also reaching the age where she will start to show a left or right-handed preference in her writing. At the moment she still enjoys using both hands during her craft activities but when ‘writing’ and practising her pencil control, her natural writing hand preference is beginning to emerge.
A young child’s grip on pencils and crayons changes as their muscle control develops from their shoulders, through their elbows, to their wrists. Each stage of improved control brings a more refined grip on a pencil.
Daisy’s grip on pencils and crayons has developed from the sideways, fist-like grasp, with the pencil held in the palm of her hand. Currently, like the majority of 2 – 3 year-olds, Daisy has started to use a grip where her fingers are on top of the pencil and the palm of that hand is facing downwards.
To help to make gripping a pencil as easy and as comfortable as possible it helps if your grandchild is using chunky crayons and pencils. The next change in grip will come as Daisy begins to use her elbow and wrist to control the pencil movements; then her grip will change towards one where she is gripping the pencil/crayon with all of her finger tips.
Plenty of drawing and colouring helps your grandchild to develop control of crayons and pencils. All children need good pencil control before they start to form letters.
Practising pencil control can be fun with activities such as following dotted line patterns on plain paper progressing from straight lines to zig-zags, curves and loops or using simple dot-to-dot books.
Granny Smith says
After my birthday, we talked to Daisy about everyone having a birthday and that she is the next one in our family to celebrate a birthday. Next month we’ll circle the date of her birthday on the calendar and put the calendar up on the fridge door for Daisy to see. Daisy can practise more mark making by crossing off each day, in anticipation of her birthday.