“And these are our scribbling materials.”
I remember my Montessori trainer, Carolina Mix, saying these words as she toured us around her classroom, gesturing to a small tray holding smaller slips of paper and a few crayons.
I had all kinds of negative associations with the word scribbling.
“Just scribbling.” Mess. Chaos. Disorder. Failure.
You see, colouring was a serious business when I was a child. When I was six, my best friend Abby was the classroom’s best colourer (a true calling and indeed a real word at that age). One day I finished my work — a photocopied colouring page — and when I handed it in, my teacher exclaimed “This is wonderful! Are you sure Abby didn’t colour it?” Ouch.
25 years later, meeting the scribbling work in the toddler classroom felt like a revelation. What if one was meant to scribble? What if all those black outlines were useless anyway?
Finding myself once again in a pint-sized classroom, my teacher-trainer demonstrated modelling use of the materials. An adult, sitting down at a toddler-sized table, picking up a crayon, and scribbling. Nothing representational — no trees, suns, houses, or dogs. No comparison.
Just colour and movement and experience. The feeling of crayon in hand, wax against paper.
What freedom. What beauty.
Note: These are our family’s favourite high quality crayons (it really does make an experiential difference for the artist!) and this is our preferred art paper, which I cut into smaller, more manageable sizes. [Affiliate links.]
Art above by Sage, age 3.75.