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Pre Writing

Mark Making


Mark making is any lines, shapes or patterns that children make with their hands or other part of their body. It is an important part of early writing.


In your home learning packs you will find some laminated sheets with backgrounds from our Jack and the Beanstalk story. These are great for mark-making on top of – for example, you could spread shaving foam over the top of the image and let your children make marks in the foam to reveal the image underneath.


You might  challenge your child to write their name or some of the words from Jack and the Beanstalk, using the word bank in your home learning packs as a guide.




  • A great way to get children to experiment with making marks is to use toy trains and cars.
  • Get some different coloured paints ready on a plate or tray, some toy cars or trains and a piece of paper.
  • Show them how to roll the wheels in the paint then push them across the paper.
  • Make sure they are wearing old clothes or an apron whilst using paints.



Mark making in shaving foam



  • Shaving foam is a good way to get children mark making.
  • If you have some outdoor space, you can spread shaving foam out on a smooth surface outside and let children make marks with their fingers.
  • You can give children any flat shapes or letters to trace around if you have some.


Mark making with bubbles



  • Add a generous squirt of washing up liquid, a small amount of water and a bit of food colouring.
  • Whisk until you have lots of bubbles then pour out onto a tray or roasting tin with high sides.

Dough Disco

Here are some playdough songs which are an excellent pre writing activity to do with your child as it develops fine motor skills, coordination and muscle strength.

You can find different playdough recipes on our sensory page or a basic flour and water mixture would work for one use only. 

Playdough song

Dough dance/finger gym routine

'I like to' playdough action song