Your younger toddler discover the joys of scribbling between thirteen and eighteen months of age. Now your eighteen-to-twenty-four-month old is ready to imitate the forming of lines. This involves watching you do the motion and then doing it immediately afterward. Most children do not learn how to form shapes by looking at a drawing until after two years of age. Children typically learn to imitate forming lines in the following sequence:
- vertical lines
- circular scribbles
- horizontal lines
Messy and Not Messy Play to Form Lines
Using finger paint, whip cream, and other messy play media, you can show your child how to form vertical, circular and horizontal strokes. Demonstrate how to form vertical lines from top to bottom and horizontal lines from left to right. This is suggested because in many western cultures letters are largely formed and words are read in these directions. Having said this, let me add that drawing and pre-writing should be fun, and there is no need to correct your child's efforts.
If your child does not like getting "messy" consider placing the paint, hair gel or other colorful substance inside a tightly closed, heavy duty, clear plastic bag. They can still imitate forming lines by pressing into the bag.
Here is an easy activity that involves forming lines: Give your child a pail of water and a short fat paintbrush. See how many lines she can paint on a building or house before they dry up and become invisible.
Make-Your-Own Picture Frame
This is also a good time to teach the concept that coloring stays on the paper and does not go on the table or wall. You can make this concept more obvious by drawing a thick line in a different color around the paper's edges or even framing it with strips of colorful cardboard or tape. This is the first step in learning how to color inside shapes.
Here is a simple Make- our-Own picture frame using a folder and piece of paper. After your child produces a scribbled work of art place it inside the folder with a large cut out to create the frame. Tape in place.
The video demonstrates a few sensory-based strategies to teach how to form lines. For example, the indentations in the green dishwasher soap bottle provides tactile (touch) sensory cues as the child forms lines inside the grooves.
Cut a long, thin rectangle out of cardboard, plastic or a rug square. You just created a writing guide or window. Place the guide on top of various textures such as my mermaid pillow or bubble wrap to form lines . The bottom photo shows the silver line I "drew" using the guide!
Source: Teaching Children How to Form Writing Lines by RecyclingOT