Drawing is more than just a way to keep children entertained on a rainy day. According to two psychologists, drawing is an important tool for children's development, helping them communicate, remember, and learn. By taking their experiences of the world and transforming them through their imagination, children can build new connections and relationships.
Richard Jolley, one of the psychologists, conducted research on the use of drawing in Chinese infant schools. He found that the art curriculum not only teaches young children representational drawing skills but also encourages them to make creative and expressive pictures from their imagination. For example, when asked to draw where they came from, one boy drew a rose – a symbol of his city – and drew his hair covered in red pollen.
Drawing can also help children express themselves and communicate to others. It can be a therapeutic exercise for dealing with difficult emotions and can even improve children's memory. Research has shown that using drawing as a teaching activity can increase children's understanding in other subjects, such as science.
To support their children's creative expression, parents can start by providing materials and encouragement. Sitting with children while they draw and chatting with them can also make the experience more enjoyable for children. Drawing together or collaborating on a shared drawing can provide inspiration and improve children's skills. Engaging in an activity while sitting together is a way of spending quality time and strengthening the bond between parent and child.
Parents can also introduce their children to a range of drawing styles and encourage them to explore their own interests. Geometrical designs and patterns can be a fun way to develop fine motor control and hand-eye coordination, while doodling can boost creativity and imagination. By fostering their children's love of drawing, parents can help them develop valuable skills and reap the benefits of artistic engagement for years to come.