Drawing and painting are the most basic ways to get started on learning art and being creative. Therefore it comes naturally for children to want to use it as an outlet to express or have fun. According to the early years non-profit organisation Zero to Three, most children are able to make marks with a crayon at around 15 months old. And by the time they’re five, they’re usually able to draw objects and people. Creativity helps your child become a thoughtful, inquisitive, and confident learner later on, when she starts school.
Here, we explore the benefits that drawing can have on the development of young children and toddlers.
Most toddlers have short attention spans. Children aged between 16-19 months are generally able to focus on a task for 2-3 minutes. However, regular drawing activity can help improve a child’s concentration levels and establish the concepts of practice and focus.
Concentrating on the intricacies of drawing is often the first step towards establishing good study habits at school, which can lead to academic success in the future. Allocating time in your child’s day to drawing will help develop their ability to concentrate on a range of tasks. Drawing little and often is the best way to improve their focus over time.
Drawing is an outlet for children who are non-verbal communicators and can improve their concentration skills and self-expression. Even toddlers with a good vocabulary aren’t always able to express their emotional needs. Drawing can help children develop their emotional intelligence in a creative way. Putting colour pencils to paper gives children another means of communication – even if the marks only really understood by the child themselves in that moment.
In some cases, a child’s drawings can provide insights into their emotions, particularly when the child is able to provide additional context. Using play therapy techniques like drawing gives children the opportunity to interact, regardless of disabilities and/or language barriers. Drawing also helps children to express their unrecognised and subconscious feelings, which is why it’s used widely as a form of therapy.’
Our students and their completed drawings.
Praising a child’s drawing can really help increase their confidence and give them the motivation to try other activities. A child’s artwork is often a representation of how they see objects and people, Therefore encouraging their self-expression improves their self-esteem, which can have a positive impact on their relationships and powers of interpretation.
When your child produces a drawing, give them praise and encourage them to talk about it with you. Ask them ‘who, what, why, where’ questions to gain further insights into their thought processes and feelings.
Holding a pencil or other drawing implement helps children develop their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. The more practice your child has with making marks on paper, the quicker they’ll develop the ability to undertake more advanced activities like colouring and handwriting. At the beginning, this is done most effectively by the repetition of simple patterns. What you tend to see is that children will initially press really hard when they’re uncertain of what they’re doing and when they have less control. With encouragement and step-by-step guidance, it’s possible to improve their skills and build their confidence.
Drawing can help improve a child’s visual analysis and help them understand concepts like distance, space, texture, and size. Drawing activities can help children get to grips with how objects relate to each other, which in turn, helps them understand more advanced concepts like depth and volume.
Visual analysis is an essential skill for everyday life, which can be learned from a young age through artistic pursuits.
Emily adds, ‘through patterns, you can teach children visual perceptual skills, building up their general awareness of the world around them. If you tell a story whilst they’re doing a drawing activity, you can take them on a magical journey through a jungle or an underwater palace. By combining drawing with story-telling in the Early Years, we’ve found that children’s attention span inadvertently increases.’
Connecting lines and joining dots in the pursuit of making a drawing requires a certain level of problem solving. In order for a child to consciously draw an object, they first need to visualise the shape and then work out the best way to reproduce it on paper. The problem-solving skills that children develop from drawing will also transfer over to other subjects like maths, where visual representations can often help in finding a solution.
In conclusion, obtaining drawing and creative skills can be a great asset and will further the development of your child.
If you’re looking for art courses for your child, Visual Arts Centre kindly offers art immersion courses for children ages 4-10 that lets them experiment with mediums like acrylic painting, watercolour and drawing and sketching. With the accessibility to various mediums, children get to explore and learn multiple skills and mediums at once which lets them be more versatile with their artistic expression. Our instructors are also well-skilled and are able to guide your young ones in their artistic journey to their fullest potential, so do sign up for our courses today!
Visual Arts Centre’s art immersion classes are available in 12 sessions packages.
If you are interested in reading more about our watercolour classes, please view this page: Visual Arts Centre’s Creative Kids Art Immersion course.
Have any queries? Please feel free to contact us at: 6733 2155 / 6255 0711! We can also be contacted via email at [email protected]
Location: 10 Penang Road, #01-02 Dhoby Ghaut Green, Singapore 238469