Drawing is a form of expression or a medium to express the one’s thoughts or feelings. But what do children’s drawing tell us about them? As a parent, I have enjoyed and witnessed funny, unimaginable, sometimes wired drawings of my son. It is widely believed that children often express their feeling, thoughts or emotions through drawing which they can’t express through words. In fact, I have got to know many things from his drawings the imaginary world which makes me understand him better. Drawings serve a great platform for kids to explore their developing sensory skills. There are various stages/phases of drawings which starts from 18months or 2years of a child.
To understand better following are three stages that children follow when developing their drawing skills: –
- Scribbling (2-4 years)
- Pre-Schematic (4-7 years)
- Schematic (7+ years)
1. The first stage of drawing is “scribbling stage” where the child tries to hold the pencil/crayon and make hand movements or marks like dots, lines etc. later they try to draw some patterns with connections. This helps them to coordinate between hand-eye. When my son was in the nursery he never liked drawing or coloring. His teacher always use to tell me about his disinterest in the drawing. So, the other day I decided to accompany him while drawing and this really helped him to gain interest.
My Son’s drawing – Scribbling stage
2. The second stage is called “pre-schematic” where children between 4-7years try to draw images through their learnings and surroundings. When my son was 4years he started drawing symbolic pictures eg shapes, curves etc. Now he is 6years and started drawing more realist pictures. His drawing usually is of family/friends, building/tower, school & more important his dream. A few days back someone asked what would you like to become when you grow up. To my surprise, he said “Fireman”. Using his knowledge about fireman he started drawing pictures of his future dream. At this stage, kids draw pictures what they know and not what they have seen.
My Son’s drawing – Pre-schematic stage
3. The third stage is called “schematic” stage where the child draws detailed features of the objects. There is much more meaning to the drawing eg- if a child is drawing sea it may have images of fish, shells, sand etc..with correct shapes. They may also add words and symbols to add further meaning. Now, children will draw pictures using their ‘visual realism’ to make an image more realistic.
Encouraging Drawing :
Parents and teachers can promote drawing as a way to improve physical, social, emotional, and mental development and to have a lot of fun. Some suggestions follow:
- Provide children with nontoxic drawing materials and loads of paper starting during the second year.
- Show children that you like to draw and make designs with them.
- Encourage their efforts by talking about the beautiful colors, different shapes/lines the child has made.
- Don’t provide them with a coloring book with a type of outlines for children to fill in. Instead provide a variety of shapes, colors, textures of papers, and various drawing kits for the child to create his or her own drawing.
- Talk about concepts like thick, thin, wide, narrow, dark, light, edge, shape, straight, crooked, open curve, and closed curve.
- Display the drawings in their room or in the block area where it is visible for them to see.
- Give children the freedom to choose the subjects and colors of their drawings. Rather than drawing for the child, ask helpful questions and make suggestions.
Now, a day’s children’s drawings are often used as an assessment to study the emotional and psychosocial development of a child. Like no other activity, drawing allows young children to express emotions, experience freedom and build confidence. Unfortunately, as they grow older, children lose their confidence and builds interest in other activity. The next time you see a child scribbling with a marker or splattering paint onto a canvas, stop, admire, and praise his or her work. Who knows, your words of encouragement may inspire a future artist.
Children are Genius, Happy Parenting!!!
Harsha…mother of a child 🙂