Mark Making in EYFS
We will be looking at the benefits of mark making in EYFS (Early Years Education) using rocks and water. Sometimes it can be difficult to get children to start mark making and writing. Painting with water on rocks is a fun way to get children to want to draw and paint. Children enjoy seeing if they can make different patterns, shapes and even numbers and letters. This can be a particularly good for young children known as ‘reluctant writers’. There are many reasons why children might be reluctant to write. These may include the fact that they prefer being outside, that they are anxious about making a mistake, or that they haven’t found a purpose or pleasure in it yet.
The great thing about water rock painting is that it is fun and exciting for children to see rocks change colour with water and it gives them the opportunity to write outside. In addition, because it isn’t permanent many children who are worried about making a mistake are more willing to make marks with water since they can ‘re-do’ it over and over again. Since writing this post I believe I saw Stimulating Learning do something similar with rocks and water.
What you need
- large rocks
- pot of water
Questions to ask children mark making in EYFS
- Can you make straight lines? Wiggly ones? Zig zags?
- Can you make circles? Dots?
- What have you painted?
- Can you make it bigger? Smaller?
What they get from it
This activity is excellent for getting children who don’t like writing with traditional pencils and paper to start making marks. It can be done inside or outside so it’s an opportunity for children who like to be outside to begin writing and mark making out of doors. There can also be an opportunity to practice their pencil grip. Just make sure you use a thin paintbrush so that they can get their fingers around it. It can actually be hard to do a proper pencil grip if you have a larger brush or pencil as you can see from the photos of my son using the thicker brush. Writing on rocks gives children a chance to practice making smaller, finer movements and marks.
Take it further
Children can practice writing letters (coming soon) or numbers on rocks (see my post here) with water by using examples to help them.
Children can make marks by painting with water (coming soon) on the pavement or sidewalk.
See my post on how children can practice recognising and writing letters (see my post here), numbers (coming soon) or high frequency words (coming soon) by painting over chalk letters, words or numbers with water .