Children must learn copying skills
The development of copying skills in young children is essential as they will spend much of their time during their primary school and high schoolyears copying from chalkboards and whiteboards in the classroom, from worksheets and textbooks and, of course, from the internet.
3D to 3D copying
We copy on a variety of levels. When your child plays Follow the Leader or Simon Says, copying someone else’s actions, this is classified as 3D to 3D. Another example would be a child icing their Marie biscuit and creating a face exactly the same as the one you have made. You show them how and they copy you step by step, the same as if you make sausages or balls out of playdough and they do the same or they copy the way you tie shoelaces.
2D and 3D copying
Children copying a pattern from a pegboard pattern card onto a pegboard or shape building pattern card onto a table top or threading lace are doing 2D (the card) to 3D (the actual pegs or shapes) copying.
When a child copies a pre-drawn picture they are doing 2D to 2D copying.
The highest skill in copying is 3D to 2D which is what an artist does when painting a picture from a model. On the other end of the scale are line drawings which represent 1D copying and are the most immature representation of any object.
Copying and concentration
Games that involve copying skills require concentration. Without focus, a child cannot complete the pattern or task at hand. We need to help our children to maintain their attention, whatever the activity. Rotate games and activities so that children don’t become bored. Bring them out for a few days them put them away.
Children cannot concentrate for more than a few minutes at the age of three but this gradually increases with age if they have been engaged with stimulating activities that they learn to master. Mastery gives a child a sense of satisfaction and achievement that pushes them to do more and for longer. For example, a three year old will only complete one or two task cards at a time, and with your encouragement, where a five year old may sit and do five cards before tiring of the game.
Accuracy and concentration are an important part of being able to copy well. Children with strong copying skills, who can complete tasks from beginning to end, have good school readiness skills for the classroom later on.
Games that stimulate copying skills
There are many games on the market, here are just four ideas:
Pull-a-thread by Smart Play
Step by Step by Djeco
Totem Zen by Djeco
Lego building sets