I've come to realise how important to literacy making marks can be. It really does make a difference to how quickly they read and understand letters. It also helps to ease the frustration if they can actually 'do' the shapes.
With the first two children I provided plenty of crayon, pencil and painting activities however it didn't come easily to them. With the boy I needed to help him build up his arm and hand muscles so got him doing lots of hanging off monkey bars at the park. It worked and he is slowly becoming an exceptional artist. With Fifi its been a case of encouragement, encouragement, encouragement, as she much prefers to stick collages than to draw artistic representations of things.
As with many things with baby number three comes a new way of doing things and little Ned just naturally likes mark making. With absolutely no encouragement. Although he does like imitating older kids and trying to join in, mark making would be his activity of choice. I'm slightly concerned about my walls, doors and carpets. This week has seen a blossoming of activity, much of it related to the easel we have in our playroom and its easily accessible blackboard and chalk. Not only is this encouraging mark making its also encouraging standing, which is good!