Scribbling Stages

Part 4-1/2 of 5 - Later Basic Forms

22 February 2017

childs history of scribbling part 4.5

Your child in the early basic forms stage revels in making circles and ovals to her heart’s content. These are the earliest and easiest basic forms to make. It’s a natural, easy movement, to scribble in circles. Just think, you probably still make circles and ovals when you try out a new pen. All this circle and oval making has a definite purpose-- increased small motor and hand-eye coordination control.  

And as your child continues to grow in muscle control, she is now able to make the more difficult basic forms of rectangles and squares. Using her more advanced motor control, she is able to purposefully draw separate lines of any desired length. These separate, random lines are then joined together to form a rectangle or square.  

This is a big jump. Moving from drawing circular forms to rectangular forms requires much more hand-eye coordination and fine muscle control. But don’t expect any “pictures” at this stage, because again, the focus here is still on your child's basic forms development.   

Here are suggestions on how to encourage your little artist in this later basic forms stage:

  • Make available paper of many sizes and shapes, different colors and textures of paper, making the experience even more enjoyable. Our Preschool Materials guide has a few suggestions for you.
  • Felt-tip pens or colored markers are excellent tools for this stage. They provide clear, quick, easily made, and nice-looking marks. In this stage when your child really enjoys seeing the marks come out as intended, and these pens are best because they require little pressure to make bold marks.
  • Large lead pencils can now be used since there is less danger of injury at this age and stage.

Armed with the ability to make all the basic forms; circles, ovals, rectangles and squares, your child one day soon will make her first “picture.”  While this drawing specific ideas is sometimes outside of Skilly-do's age range of 2-4 year-old children, I know it’s important to know what’s ahead for your young artist.  

Stay tuned for Part 5, the last installment of my series, Scribbling Stages - Making Pictures.  In the meantime, our activity Crayon Hokus-pokus is excellent exercise for those kids in-- or on their way to-- their later basic forms stage.

And we're always glad to know what you think-- you can give us your feedback right here.