First marks

Investigating objects and encouraging messy play, for example splodging paint on paper, gives your baby lots of opportunities to start making their first marks. As your baby engages in spontaneous mark making, they gradually acquire the strength, fine motor skills and coordination needed to hold and direct a crayon or pencil.

When you recognise the value these early marks, you help your baby understand that their actions created the marks and, eventually their marks have a meaning. Although it will be a long time before your baby forms real letters or connects sounds with words, these early marks are the first step towards the process of drawing and writing.