Between their second and third birthdays, children begin to pay attention to print, such as the letters in their names. They also begin to distinguish between drawing and writing and start to scribble on paper, making some marks that are like letters. Two and three year olds require activities to help them develop hand coordination (for example, by holding crayons and pencils, putting together puzzles or stringing large beads).
By their 3rd and 4th birthdays, children have greater small-muscle control than toddlers, which is reflected in their drawings and scribbles. They can match and sort things that are alike and unalike, recognize and print and can “write,” or scribble messages.
Between their 4th and 5th birthdays, children are active, enjoy more group activities and have better muscle control. They can recognize and write the numerals 1-10, recognize shapes such as circles, squares, rectangles and triangles and can write some letters.
Keep the following things in mind when working with your preschool aged child:
Young children love to play with dough. They can squish and pound it and form it into fascinating shapes. Helping to make play dough lets children learn about measuring and learn and use new words.
Music is a way to communicate that all children understand. It’s not necessary for them to follow the words to a song; it makes them happy just to hear the comfort in your voice or on the recording or to dance to a peppy tune.
Young children are natural artists and art projects can spark young imaginations and help children to express themselves. Scribbling also prepares them to use writing to express their ideas.
I’m Andrea, co-creator of KinderArt.com. I’m an artist, writer, art teacher and homeschooling mom with 25 years of teaching experience. The following articles will provide you with lots of helpful information about creativity and children. Any questions? Please contact me! I’m here to help.