Responding to children’s writing.

Responding to children’s first attempts at writing/drawing.

There are so many You Tube videos, Facebook Videos and photos of a child’s first step, crawl, solid food and dare I say even Facebook updates of when children first use a toilet. I don’t see many updates of when a child first begins ‘controlled scribbling’ or drawing/writing.

Children realise they are making a mark on the page. Their fine motor skills are developing and they have greater control of the implement they have in their hand whether it is a crayon, pencil, paint brush or chalk.

Give your child lots of encouragement and confidence by the responses you use. It is extremely hard in your child’s initial stage of writing/drawing as you have absolutely no idea whether your child is enjoying the action of scribbling or whether they are attempting to draw images.

what is it

Don’t ask, ‘What is it?’ Build on their confidence by using responses such as,

Tell me about your picture?

This looks interesting, I love the blue (yellow, orange etc) that you used here.

I like the big lines here and the circle here.

Do you want to hang your picture up?

Can we send it to Nanna?


When children are at the Controlled Scribble stage try not to label their drawings or guess what they have drawn. One day a circle might represent the sun, the next day a person and the next day a car. As their vocabulary and knowledge of the world widens so will what they draw or write about.

What words do you use when talking to your child about their first attempts at writing or drawing?