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Early mark-making: water marks

What you need

  • Paint Brushes or sponges
  • Buckets of water
  • Dark coloured thick paper, cardboard boxes or a garden fence
  • Sports water bottles


Mark-making is a sensory and physical experience that supports the development of gross motor skills, movement and control of their wrists as well as hand-eye coordination. Creative skills and imagination grows further, and children are given a new output to express their feelings. Mark-making gives them a stepping stone into writing.

The experience

Encourage your little one to use the paintbrushes (if available) or little sponges dipped into water to create large circular motions or long lines on your garden fence or cardboard boxes.

Dip the sponges/paintbrushes in water and encourage some mark-making with their body movements. 

Perhaps you could engage in some target practice with older children. Support them with squeezing water bottles filled up with water at a named target.

Get creative and ready for some mark-making water play!