The only thing that hasn’t changed since we were cave people is drawing. They used to draw on cave walls, children draw on room walls. But we still draw. Most parents discipline their children to draw in books. In this article, we are going to talk about what are the benefits of drawing for toddlers and children.
In this article you'll learn about
Benefits of drawing in children
1. Increase in Concentration
Toddlers have a very short attention span. They might be playing with a ball and the next minute they’ll start crying because they want the soft toy that you have kept in the cupboard. Their mind is constantly wandering here and there. But, there are times when they are completely focused on something. You might see that babies will keep staring at your colorful outfit, or a painting, or something that’s on the television. They are amazed by moving colorful things.
Drawing and coloring helps children focus on one particular thing, even if it is for a short period at first. By doing it daily, they’ll be more focused on what and how they want to draw. For example, a baby can hold a crayon and start scribbling when they are 19months old more. But they can start drawing shapes and figures after they turn 3 or 4. Even during this time, their attention span is low. When you first make them draw, they might run away to play something else after a minute or two. Slowly the will be interested and spend more time being focused on things.
2. Development of fine motor skills
The very first movement a baby does with its hands or wrists is moving them left to right or vice versa. As they grow, they learn to hold things in their hands. When you let them hold a pencil or pen, with the same left to right movement they start scribbling.
It may have no meaning to us, that’s why we call it ‘Scribbling’. But to your baby, he/she is trying to put out something he/she has in his/her mind. At the age of 3-4 yrs, their motor skills are developed enough that they can make shapes, they might not be correct most of the time, but they start to understand how to move their hands to create something.
With practice, they’ll able to move their wrists, fingers & hands with ease.
3. Boost in creative development
Art is as free as a person can be. There are no boundaries to art, even though it is subjective. If a kid paints a unicorn pooping rainbow, it’s still a really creative piece of art to that kid and his/her friends. But, his/her grandparents may have a different opinion.
When you let your child be free with whatever they are drawing, you remove the so-called ‘educated societal boundaries’ you put around them. These boundaries tell them what is accepted by society and what is not.
A free child is more likely to express whatever he/she has on his/her mind through drawing.
A great example of this in the movie ‘Tare Zameen Par’. The protagonist of the film suffers from dyslexia. His parents think he doesn’t want to study and his teachers think he is just dumb. But his drawings prove otherwise, his drawings showcase an extremely creative mind.
4. Improves eye-hand Coordination
In addition to improvement in fine motor skills, drawing also helps your children improve their eye-hand coordination. Children will draw what the see around them. This helps them build a connection between what the see and what they draw.
For example, we all have fruits at our home. When you ask a toddler to draw an apple, he/she will draw it based on his/her memory and it will not be accurate majority of the times. When you keep an apple in front and ask them to draw it, they’ll draw it better. This proves improvement in eye-hand coordination.
5. Medium to Express Emotions
No matter how early your child starts speaking or how well he/she speaks, he/she may not be able to always express what he/she wants to say.
To express our feelings or to portray our thoughts we need some kind of medium. When the message is not understood through conventional mediums like speech and written messages, it is expressed through art forms.
Let’s take the example of ‘Tare Zameen Par’ again. In one scene where the new teacher of Ishan (the protagonist) visits his home. He shows Ishan’s parents that he has problems expressing himself and does so through his drawings. After this, he shows them a flip picture book, which show’s Ishan being slowly detached away from his family and sent to boarding school.
Colours also help a lot in expressing emotions. You might also be able to identify whether your child is happy or sad just by the colours they use in their drawings.
6. Boosts problem-solving ability
As weird as this sounds drawing actually has a lot of problem-solving involved. If your child is drawing from memory, then the biggest problem they face is, visualizing how the object looks and feels. After visualizing, they have to reproduce it as accurately as it can be.
If they are drawing a dog that is sitting in front of them, they’ll have to think about how they can connect the different body parts. On the first attempt, it may not look anything like the dog sitting in front of them. But with practice, they’ll be able to make better decisions, ending up drawing better and closer to how a dog looks. Later, eventually being able to solve problems.
This ability to make quick decisions and solve the problems will be carried forward in their school life and further.
7. Improves Visual analysis
Take a look around you and try guessing the size of different objects around you? You’ll be surprised by how many almost correct answers you get. This is because of our visual analysis skills have developed a lot over time. But children, they don’t know anything about this, they don’t know what’s texture, size or distance.
Drawing helps them understand all these things. When you draw, you either replicate what’s in front of you or recreate an experience you already had.
For example, if you keep 3-4 oranges of the same size one after the other as to create a perspective, and tell your kids to draw this, they will automatically draw the first one bigger than the last orange in the perspective. This is an example of visual analysis.
Every activity that kids perform during their childhood has some or the other benefit in their life. Be playing sports, dancing, singing, reading books etc. You as parents should encourage your children to draw, even if its something silly let them draw. It is also your responsibility to make them draw on papers and drawing books and not on the walls of your home.
We will soon be coming out with a list of best drawing books for your kids. These books will help your kid get all the benefits mentioned above.
Check out our other articles on books for children: