Toddlers like markers because they can make marks without any hand pressure. Generally, they will make dots and scribbles. They also might try to eat them. You will always have to be with toddlers to WATCH their play. Encourage your child to learn to take off the lid and put it back on. For a toddler that is good eye/hand coordination. You will need to make sure the lid is tight. Sign their names to their pictures beginning at 2.
Preschoolers will like to explore the various colors of the markers. Sometimes they will press very hard, just the opposite of what the toddlers do. They will make scribbles, designs, and letters. Around 4 ½ to 5 years old, kids draw pictures. Be careful to copy the kinds of drawings that your child is doing. Preschoolers still need some supervision when they use markers. Teach them how important it is to put on the marker caps.
Elementary aged children love to make pictures and color in designs. They can dress up their homework, too. It is also fun to add colored marks to pictures that they cut out. You will need less supervision for this age, but your children need to learn how to care for their markers.
If a water based marker dries up, put one drop of water on the tip and one drop of water inside the marker.
Hole Punch and Scissors
These two instruments develop hand strength. The hole punch is the easier to use. Children around 2 or 3 can practice the hole punch with thin paper.
Scissors take a long time to learn; usually children around 3 ½ or 4 learn to coordinate their fingers. First they learn to squeeze. Then they learn to open their hands. Then they have to learn how to open their hands yet keep their fingers on the scissors. When they are first learning, you can hold the paper for them. Then they can use their hands to punch or cut.
All kids will want to try to cut their hair because they have seen adults do it. Warn the children that this is an adult job. You will need to keep track of the scissors. You will have a choice of lefty and righty scissors. Observe in PACT time which hand you child uses-right or left.
With the glue stick, kids can paste what they cut. It will dry up quickly, so children must learn to put the lid on. Children as young as age 2 will like to glue things to paper randomly. Older children will paste things into pictures. The paste is non-toxic but you still need to supervise.
Since children like to draw and paste so much, you will need to think of places to find paper and magazines.
Let's have an art exhibit with the art from the writing bins to date. Bring one or two samples from each child's work to the center. We can make a display board for next week. Make sure that the pictures are right for your child's age (developmentally appropriate). Put your children's name on them if they do not write it themselves. Parents may also add to the exhibit!