Prep: 3 Minutes / Activity Time: 1-2 Minutes

Some two-year-olds may not show interest in drawing, but love to take the marker lids off and try to put them back on. Allowing your child to explore markers and writing this way will help develop fine motor skills, which your child will use later for writing. This simple activity can also create a positive learning environment, since it's less about writing and more about how you support your child’s interests, choices and developing skills.

  • variety of markers with lids (slender ones, large ones, different colors, etc.)
  • plain, unlined paper

Step 1: Place a variety of markers with their lids on the table. Place plain paper on the table as a writing surface.

Step 2: Invite your child to choose a marker and remove the lid. Talk about the color. You might say:

Which marker is your favorite color? You chose the blue marker! I like that color too.

Step 3: Encourage her to make a mark on the paper and comment on any attempts she makes. Allow her to draw for as long as she chooses. You might say:

Wow! You made a line with the blue marker!

Step 4: When she is ready to switch to a different color, suggest that she put the first marker's lid back on. She may not be able to push the lid closed all the way; you can assist with this by modeling how it works and explaining why keeping lids on tightly is important. You might say:

Sometimes it is hard to snap the lid tightly. If you need help, let me know. When the lid is on tight it keeps our markers full of color.

Remember to keep the activity lighthearted and fun.

Help to loosen the lid as needed. Leave it on the marker for your child to remove.

Invite your child to make more marks. Comment on her drawing. You might say:

I see lots of blue lines and circles!

Show your excitement for her attempts at writing with the sound of your voice.