More than Scribbles

As a new preschool teacher I received pictures colored by children on a daily basis. I kept a few sentimental drawings but admit that most pictures ended up in the garbage because to me, they were nothing more than scribbles. Now having worked in the early childhood field for almost ten years I can recognize that they are much more than scribbles!

Those pages full of twisting lines and intersecting circles signify a stage in the development of drawing and writing skills. provides a great parent resource that outlines these 5 stages of drawing and writing:

  • Stage 1: Random Scribbling (15 months to 2 ½ years)
  • Stage 2: Controlled Scribbling (2 years to 3 years)
  • Stage 3: Lines and Patterns (2 ½ years to 3 ½ years)
  • Stage 4: Pictures of Objects or People (3 years to 5 years)
  • Stage 5: Letter and Word Practice (3 years to 5 years)

All children go through these stages, however the pace with differ with each individual child. The article also provides ideas for parents to encourage art and writing skills in their young child:

  • Make art a regular part of playtime
  • No need for instructions
  • Notice the process, not just the product
  • Experiment with a variety of art materials as your child nears 3 years
  • Use art to help your child express strong feelings
  • Encourage your child’s attempts to write
  • Display your child’s art and writing

Click here to read the full article provided by I may not keep every drawing given to me, but I can recognize its significance to that child’s development and now so can you!

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