When children create tools like the Scribble Maker, they get to try out new ideas and see themselves as inventors, building their self-confidence and identity.

This is a fun and deeply satisfying way to explore concepts like movement, creativity or simultaneity, while developing flexible thinking and problem resolution skills.

What Could Lead Us to This Play Invitation

  • Children have been curious about assembling, connecting, and moving things around;
  • Children are excited about using everyday objects differently;
  • Children have been creating and building things like robots and “machines”.

Materials Needed

  • Cardboard tubes
  • Masking tape
  • Markers
  • White paper

Setting up This Play Invitation

  1. Collect a few cardboard tubes.
  2. Lay out white paper on a table.

    Tips: This is a great Play Invitation to do in small or big groups as children can engage in comparisons and descriptions.

How to Create the Drawing

  1. Show the children how to tape 3-6 markers on the side of a cardboard tube.
  2. Invite the children to grip their marking tool and mark away at the paper, experimenting with different movements and observing the marks.
Scribble marks from markers attached to cardboard tube

FOR OLDER CHILDREN: Challenge – how can you create an intentional pattern with the markers you attach to the tube?

Older children will find the creation of the Scribble Maker fascinating. Consider providing a range of objects such as plastic cups, spice jars and other containers to which they can attach the markers.

How to Nurture the Natural Unfolding of the Child’s Identity During This Play Invitation

  • Children have the right to fail. Educators can support children’s reflection, instead of correcting and offering all the answers right away. Educators can help children reflect by questioning and offering other points of view, so children can draw conclusions and adapt their actions. This reflection and testing are part of the Play Invitation and learning process.

The Academic Learning Opportunities

  • MATH: Develop directionality, explore parallel lines and patterns, and build spatial awareness (keeping the drawing inside the paper).
  • LANGUAGE: Use language to engage in conversation with their peers.
  • PHYSICAL: Develop fine motor skills and laterality.


Invite children to become the Scribble Maker by using one marker on each hand and drawing simultaneous and symmetrical lines.

Resource Recommendation

A fantastic resource to explore other drawing machines combining creativity and science.