Not much can beat the warm, comforting taste and aroma of a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day, but have you ever thought about mark-making or using it in your messy play? There are so many learning opportunities to be had!  Look at all the discoveries Oliver, Susie, Charlie, Annabelle and Toby made below.

Hot chocolate is amazing! What can we make marks with?

Look at the children using their big pivots. They are stretching, reaching, grasping and thumping. It feels and smells unusual.

Suzie is wallowing in her learning. She identified which mark makers she would use. She located where to find them. She changed her mind a few times. She was able to choose and develop her ideas, and decided where each mark would go.

Charlie was hesitant at first. By working alongside Suzie, he gained confidence. He began to identify and select which items he wanted to use and then manipulated and experimented over and over again!

Through messy play, children can develop concentration, problem-solving and planning. Messy play can offer an outlet for feelings, experiences and thoughts. How children use their body to aid their early mark making and then writing is by using a sequence of muscle movements. Which muscles they use depend on which stage of development they are at. Most children follow the same sequence of development, so once you are aware of it, you can create an appropriate environment to support and extend their stage of development.

Olivia and Suzie explored and investigated together for ages. They seemed fascinated by the marks they made. The ‘chatted’ all the time too.

Charlie recognised and named each of the items he chose. He demonstrated very strong muscle control as he applied himself.

Where children ‘pivot’ from will let you know where they are up to in their physical mark making development. There is an intrinsic link between pivot and grip.

We love it when our play experiences encourage deep learning. When our children are active in mind, body and heart, it is likely to promote genuine understanding. Annabelle is deeply immersed in thinking and learning. She is using her senses to deepen her understanding

Annabelle and Toby enjoy trying to be different. They are the first to stand up. Toby followed Annabelle’s lead, as always.  Waiting. Watching. Thinking. Learning. Developing hypothesis.

Deep Learning goes beyond the acquisition of knowledge and we embrace the ability to use and apply the knowledge in our children’s play.  To develop all of their skills and capabilities our children should always be engaged and motivated.