By Catherine Wiberg
ILS Staff Blogger
Writing Benefits from Drawing
Have you ever watched a child draw? Regardless if the child is a toddler, a preschooler, an elementary school student, in junior high or high school, there is purpose, concentration, method, and fun. Children learn from drawing. They learn colors. They learn what colors they like. They learn what colors are customary for certain things and what makes something look out of place. Is grass green, brown, or purple? How do people react when I choose to make the sun blue instead of yellow? I thought a blue dog and a pink cat looked perfect in this picture.
Also, you have probably heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” I learned early in my parenting that children don’t always want to hear, “What is that?” when they show you what they’ve drawn. For this reason, I learned the phrase, “Tell me the story of your picture.” If ever you want your child to put 1,000 words to a picture, asking for the story will get that 1,000 words.
You also may have noticed that your child’s doctor will use his or her drawing ability to check your child’s development. If a child can draw a picture of a person that has items that you know are arms, legs, a body, and a head, that child shows a specific age of development. If a child can draw a circle that connects in only one place, that shows another type of development. Drawing helps children learn to use their big muscles and their small muscles. Big muscles in the arms allow a child to take a crayon and scribble across a paper, table, or wall. Small muscles in the fingers allow a child to hold that crayon and eventually make a flower or a dog. Drawing leads to expression.
Another interesting thing about drawing is how long pictures have been used compared to how long letters have been used. Consider all the different societies that have used art to express themselves: ancient cave paintings, Egyptian hieroglyphics, the words written in Asian countries’ kanji like Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. Children learning kanji learn to write by painting. This gives them the correct brush stroke to make the different words. Each brush stroke creates a different meaning. Their written language is truly artistic drawing.
Even those of us who grew up learning English as our first language learned to write our letters by learning first to draw the shapes that make them. Circles lay the foundation for the letters a, b, c, d, e, g, o, and others. Lines also lay a foundation for the letters b, d, f, h, l, m, n, p and others. Drawing expresses our thoughts and teaches us other forms of expression as we learn and grow.
Have fun drawing with your children. Try some of these ideas and share your ideas with us. If you do these activities with your child like your child, you will find that you will have as much fun as your child.
Art for Kids – Drawing Activities
- Instead of using paint, use pudding
- You can put pudding on a high chair tray and let your toddler draw
- You can put pudding on butcher block paper on the table or the driveway and let your child draw
- The fun of pudding is that it is edible
- The ease of pudding is that it is washable
- This was one of my and my children’s favorite ways to finger paint
- Use finger paint and large paper
- Sidewalk chalk
- This comes in different thicknesses
- There are even recipes online to make your own
- Window markers
- There are markers specifically for drawing on windows. They change shades as they dry. They wash off easily, even after weeks have passed.
- Put a big piece of butcher block paper on your child’s wall and make this the drawing wall
- Your child may draw on THAT wall, on THAT paper
- This might help your child not to draw on other walls
Frame the Art
- Frame your child’s art
- I recently saw a Pinterest post of a large roll of butcher paper rotating through a frame so a child could draw, feed it through the frame, and then do it again on a different day.
- I also found a Pinterest post of how to rotate your children’s art as they make new pictures so that all their art can have equal time
Remember, if you have fun, your child will have fun. If your child is having fun, you get to hear stories and make memories.
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs