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Know Why Toddlers Love to Scribble

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 10-01-2007

Most children are fascinated by the possibilities of a pencil or crayon stub and become engrossed in their activity as they scribble away for hours. As a parent, you may find this a heaven-sent solution to keep your kids quiet and relaxed in their own self-contained zone.

However, you may worry that your child is obsessed with this one activity, and wish he or she would play at something else. It is important for a parent to understand that scribbling may actually serve a greater purpose than mere entertainment. Here are some of the major advantages that scribbling has to offer to children:


  • It helps develop independent thinking in children, since a scribbling child gets to think without bounds and without help from anyone.  

  • It helps develop greater finger control in children, enabling them to be fast and efficient with activities such as writing or brushing.

  • It introduces children to the power of the writing—through the process of scribbling, your child learns that a lot can be achieved by writing on a blank space.

  • It allows children to express their thoughts and feelings without any inhibitions. This can be a very good way of letting out both negative and positive emotions in a pleasant and subtle way.
With these benefits and more, you would want to ensure your child continues scribbling whenever possible. Here are some tips on how you can make this activity a pleasure for all:


  •  Teach your child that scribbling is acceptable only on certain surfaces such as notebooks and sand and not on walls, or any other places.

  • Provide your child with notebooks of their own and always bring paper and pens to restaurants or anywhere your kids will have to wait. Put an extra stash of pens and paper in the car, so you always have some on hand.

  • Give your kids some good educational themes to encourage constructive scribbling—like learning to draw buildings or a simple room.