chapter  1
15 Pages

The Meaning of the Marks

Scribbling Long before they produce any recognisable pictures, children in most Western cultures make marks on a piece of paper with a crayon or pencil. These first scribbles appear around the age of 12 months, although individual children will be more or less advanced depending on the availability of materials, parental encouragement, and so on. The earliest marks are often rather tentative, even though there are some children who stab at the page with their pencil. Either way, the movements are generally unplanned and uncontrolled. These early attempts may in fact be imitations of the adult's hand movements as Major (1906) suggested. His son, "R", seemed reluctant or unable to attempt the task at all without his father's demonstrations.