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developing mark making area


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Hello all,


Through discussion with the room leader and from my observations of the area, a need to develop the mark making area has been identified. How do i go about this? I printed off a room plan because i thought i might need to track the area for more details e.g what gender use the area, what age group, how long for etc, in order to develop an effective action plan. Does this sound right? I've never done this before so am unsure how to actually record what i observe on the room plan sheet.


would appreciate any advice on this.


Thank you

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Hi I would firstly look in depth in the positives of your mark making already in place. Then I would look at how you can provide enhancements to this.

I like to think of mark making as a moveable and transportable experience for our children, and to offer opportunities for all children to make marks where ever they may have chosen to play, both indoors and outdoors.

So this could be in sand, playdough, gloop, paint, glue, mud, pens, pencils, crayons, chalks, etch and sketch, as well as on the floor on large sheets of paper, easels indoors and outside. We have lots of store caddies for this to happen easily, as well as a mark making trolley for free choice.

The group of children we have presently love envelopes, notepads, clipboards, small chalk boards.

There was a great booklet called " Mark Making Matters" think it was a D of E publication that has some great ideas that might help you with this.:)

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Thank you for your replies.

Currently the MM area is literally one table against a wall with space for 2 chairs at a time and a trolley on the side that *should* have the relevant resources, but instead it is full of odd bits and pieces that aren't useful to children at all. We have all the resources available but on high shelving outside of the room.

Because of limited space there is nowhere else that could be developed as the MM area so i have to work with that area.There is a display board on the wall the table is backed against and i would love for it to be used as a MM display. What do you think?

Mark making happens in the sand tray and with other messy play in a separate room as well as outdoors.It is this table and trolley area that i want to improve. I definitely want it to be enhanced based on the children's interests.

So should I forget the tracking and just go straight into and try things out?

Fredbear, i will have a search for that document!

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Hi Salus,on further research the document is infact from the National strategies, and although not totally up to date, has some fantastic case studies, ideas.

I'm sure you would still find it a useful tool. It is downloadable, just type in "mark making matters" hope this helps. :).

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Mark making matters is a brilliant book.


Use the display board as a way for the children to display their work. Maybe put up 2 lines if string with pegs for them to clip their work onto?


Clear your trolley out and set out a small amount of your resources on your trolley. For example, I'm responsible for our mark making area and I have a 6 drawer shelf with space on the top plus a table for them to sit at. In my drawers I have plain paper, lined paper and coloured paper along the top row, then envelopes, clipboards and notebooks/post it notes on the top row. On the top of the unit, I have a plastic pot that you put cutlery in to dry that has 3 sections to it, in which I have pencils, pencil crayons, ball point pens and felt tip pens (around 4-5 of each), then a pot with some wax crayons in and a pot with some office type stationary in (paper clips and small bulldog clips). There are photos on the drawers and pots so the children know what goes where and can access it themselves as they want it in their play.


Hope that gives you some inspiration!

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