Five Reasons Drawing is Essential for your Child’s Development


October, 2018

The first writing of the human being was drawing, not writing.

Marjane Satrapi

1. Children draw to express what they are feeling and thinking

Drawing is an especially important outlet for children who do not yet have the verbal skills to communicate their feelings.  Through your child’s art you are able to catch a glimpse into their rich internal world whilst conversely they are able to develop concentration, thought-processing and motor skills.

2. Developing artistic expression

As much as you may feel inclined to draw on behalf of a child upon their request, its important to grant them the opportunity to develop their own drawing skills.  Each person has their own unique way of expressing themselves and their reality.  Encouraging your child to sketch without judgement or comparison is hugely enriching for their confidence and sense of self.

3. Stages of art development reflect key stages of development

Each child’s art is unique and follows a universal pattern of expansion.  All children go through the same stages but the age at which this happens varies. The first stage is ‘experimenting’, where young children learn how to make marks on paper.  As your child gains greater control of their crayon you’re likely to see circular patterns emerge, these will be repeated with the addition of lines. The next phase is where these circles and lines start to become a clearer representation of what your child is thinking about.

4. Initiating conversations about art

A beautiful developmental milestone occurs around the age of 3½ when your child may begin to form an idea about what they’re drawing.  As primary caregiver it is vital to allow your child full creative freedom and expression and to be positively reinforced.  Be aware of not labelling or coming to your own opinion about their masterpiece, instead a general statement like ‘can you tell me about your picture’ is a wonderful conversation starter, as it allows your child to tell their story from their perspective.  Displaying your child’s artworks on the fridge, making a home art gallery or making a special frame to showcase creative works are great ways of affirming that their art is important and appreciated.

5. Provides a safe space to experiment

Begin introducing opportunities for your child to draw as soon as they begin to take interest, this usually occurs from around the 8 month mark.  The only rule of drawing is to have full freedom! Have fun putting together a drawing treasure chest stocked with tools such as pens, chalk, crayons paint and brushes.  Make sure that the paper you provide is unlined so that your child has full unrestricted creative license.  As your child grows continue to develop ideas where they can share their art, and leave their unique mark.

This blog post has been inspired by The Big Draw Festival which takes place in over 25 countries worldwide throughout the month of October. To find out more or to get involved visit their wonderful website, brimming with creative brilliance!

We would LOVE to see your child’s masterpieces (and yours too!) As always please tag us in your creations on Facebook or Instagram! @greatbritishnannies

Happy creating!