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Unlocking Creativity

Unlocking Creativity: Encouraging Preschoolers to Draw

Drawing is an essential activity that preschoolers engage in as it helps them to express themselves, understand the world around them, and improve their motor skills. As an educator or parent, you play a crucial role in encouraging preschoolers to draw and unlock their creativity. In this article, we will discuss six effective ways of encouraging preschoolers to draw and help them unleash their imagination.


Why Drawing is Important

Drawing during the toddler and preschool years has several advantages.

● A child’s fine motor abilities improve as they draw.

● Hand-eye coordination is improved.

● Drawing freely encourages the development of creative expression.

● The core of pre-writing abilities is drawing.

● It increases a child’s ability to focus.

● It improves conceptual understanding on a cognitive level

Tracing images or “teaching” a child to draw by having them copy models are not age-appropriate, natural techniques to foster creativity.


The Stages of Drawing

The characteristics of the many stages of a preschool’s drawing development are listed below. As preschools develop at their own rates, these are not inflexible rules.

They will each advance through the same phases, which are determined by their degree of knowledge, but they will each attain the milestones at their own rate.

The characteristics are listed by age.

12 Months: Random Marks and Scribbles

Drawing begins with the exploration and development of motor coordination.

Babies start to produce uncontrolled, meaningless scribbles between the ages of 15 and 18 months.



Babies first make a variety of marks before starting to form:

● scribbles

● horizontal and vertical lines

● several line drawings



Drawing helps young preschoolers learn about cause and effect and their capacity to influence events.

It is more about enjoying their movements and their effects than it is about constructing and reflecting on their world.

Through their scrawls, they can learn about the characteristics of many tools, materials, and objects, including pencils, pens, paint, crayons, and paper.



Toddlers can typically grab crayons with their entire hand from around the age of 15 months (this is referred to as a palmar grasp).

2 Years: Controlled Scribbles

The term “controlled scribbling” describes this phase.

It is distinguished by haphazard circles and dots that move back and forth.

At this age, all preschoolers’ drawings are similar scribbles, and the forms they contain are important for the subsequent development of drawing and writing skills.



Toddlers start to create drawings of the following:

● vertical and horizontal lines

● Many spirals and loops

● unpolished circles

● forms resembling the letters T and V



Two-year-olds learn to use their thumb and first two fingers (referred to as a tripod grasp) to hold a pencil well down the shaft toward the point.

Usually, they will use their favoured hand.



Toddlers start to understand the relationship between their movements and the marks they leave on the paper at this age. They’ll start purposefully repeating their actions.

These sketches develop into straightforward diagrams by the end of the year.

3 Years: Basic Shapes

As their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination develop throughout this stage, kids start to use fundamental shapes in their drawings.



At this age, the following shapes are frequently mixed in drawings:

● Squares and circles

● crosses

● dots

● forms resembling the letters T, V, and H


Drawing a person

Around the age of 3 or 4, preschoolers frequently produce their first drawings of themselves.

These “tadpole” figures are typically depicted with simply a head and directly linked legs.



A three-year-old places the pencil’s tip between the first two fingers and the thumb and keeps it there.

They control the pencil well and use their favorite hand.

The use of triangular crayons at this age can aid in your child’s development of a strong tripod hold.



Even though you might not be able to see what the child has drawn, they can still describe it to you when they are this young.

They don’t begin a drawing with a clear idea of what they will create; instead, they name their picture either as they are sketching it or after it is finished.

They frequently opt to utilize only one color because it is unrealistic to employ color at this point.



4 Years: Patterns and ‘Tadpole’ People

By the age of 4, patterns begin to show up in preschoolers’ drawings. A youngster will create a pattern and label it after interpreting it as a depiction of something.



Their artwork consists of:

● Circles, rectangles, and squares

● attempts to make triangles and diamonds, albeit they may not yet be able to.

● Crosses

● letters (written in fake)


Drawing a person

Since eye contact is significant to 4-year-olds, their drawings of people develop from a head with legs to include details like eyes.

Instead of drawing what they see, they instead depict what they know, adding features as they become significant to them.

Arms, fingers, and a trunk are revealed in detail.


Drawing other images

By the age of four and a half, kids start to combine two or more shapes or forms to create simple images, such as a hat by combining a rectangle and a circle. They frequently pick this up from grownups.

Preschoolers typically construct individuals as their first continuously repeated forms, although they later incorporate simpler objects like a house or the sun.



They can control a pencil well and in an adult manner at this point.



Drawing acquires greater intention and significance. Typically, kids plan out their drawings before they start.

Their pictures begin to resemble the visions they describe as they purposefully attempt to mix forms and lines.

5 Years: Pictures and Portraits

Five-year-olds start to sketch with a lot of originality.



They will depict the following:

● basic forms

● Diamonds and triangles

● Unplanned letters that mimic writing


Drawing a person

With numerous details, including hair, hands and fingers, feet, and a body, a portrait of a person appears.


Drawing other images

They make drawings of things like animals, homes, cars, trees, flowers, and rainbows.

They have the capacity to add features, such as when they design a house with a door, windows, roof, and chimney.



Preschoolers should have mastered decent hand-eye coordination by the time they turn 5 years old.



Now, kids will create on their own initiative and start incorporating their own experiences, hobbies, and surroundings into their drawings. What they know is what they draw.

Their depictions of people, animals, and homes are continuously changing.

Prior to starting, they will also give their drawing a name.

Even if they color inside the lines, their use of color may still be illogical.

As youngsters are still establishing their sense of spatial orientation, persons and objects may still be floating in the air at this point.

Because they are egocentric and believe that they are the center of the universe, they frequently center themselves in drawings.



6 Years: Drawings Represent Interests and Experience

By the age of 6 or 7, youngsters have developed a distinct drawing style that is typically recognizable to adults.



When they are seven years old, kids should be able to draw good circles, squares, rectangles, triangles, and diamonds.


Drawing a person

At this age, a youngster typically adopts a specific person representation and tends to sketch all of them using the same basic shape.

For instance, they might design the entire family with the same body outline but with varied proportions and clothing and hair to indicate the genders.


Drawing other images

All kinds of animals and objects are depicted in drawings, typically those that most appeal to the artist.

Animals often have human-like features in their drawings.



Preschool demonstrate their greater level of cognition at this stage by drawing people, animals, and objects on a background, like the ground or grass.

By depicting objects like little flowers or trees that tower over a house, for instance, they might demonstrate perception.

This illustration demonstrates a child’s improved comprehension of distance and depth.

Their drawings reflect the world as they view it. They enlarge things that are significant to them and exclude those that are not important.

They might make a house have a tiny entryway that is just big enough for them, or very high windows that are out of their grasp.

By depicting flying things or drawing an animal’s legs farther apart if it is sprinting, artists can likewise convey movement in their drawings.

Their use of color takes on a very lifelike quality.



Provide a Safe and Supportive Environment

Creating a safe and supportive environment is the first step toward encouraging preschoolers to draw. As a parent or educator, it is your responsibility to provide a space that is conducive to creativity. The environment should be free from distractions and have all the necessary tools, such as crayons, markers, paper, and paint. It is also essential to provide an ample amount of time for the preschoolers to draw, without any pressure or time constraints.


Be Positive and Encouraging

Preschoolers thrive on positive reinforcement and encouragement. When they draw, take the time to appreciate their efforts and give them positive feedback. You can use phrases such as “good job” or “I love your drawing” to encourage them. It is essential to be specific in your praise and highlight the aspects of their drawing that you appreciate. For example, you can say, “I love the way you have used different colours in your drawing” or “You have done a great job in drawing a straight line.” Being positive and encouraging will boost the preschoolers’ confidence and motivate them to draw more.


Provide a Variety of Materials

Providing a variety of materials will help preschoolers explore and experiment with different art techniques. Apart from crayons and markers, you can also provide them with paint, playdough, glue, and scissors. You can also provide them with different types of paper, such as coloured paper, construction paper, and tissue paper. When preschoolers have access to different materials, they can use their creativity to create unique art pieces.


Give Them Freedom to Create

Preschoolers should have the freedom to create art without any restrictions or guidelines. When preschoolers are free to draw what they want, it helps them to express themselves and develop their creativity. You can ask preschoolers what they want to draw and let them choose the subject matter. You can also let them experiment with different colours and techniques. Allowing preschoolers to create art without any rules or guidelines fosters their independence and creativity.


Make Drawing Fun

Preschoolers learn best when they are having fun. As an educator or parent, you can make drawing fun by incorporating games and activities. For example, you can ask preschoolers to draw their favourite animal or character and then act out the animal or character. You can also ask preschoolers to draw a picture and then tell a story based on their drawing. Making drawing fun will help preschoolers stay engaged and motivated.


Display Their Artwork

Displaying preschoolers’ artwork is a great way to boost their confidence and make them feel proud of their creations. You can display their artwork on the refrigerator, bulletin board, or in a frame. When preschoolers see their artwork on display, it motivates them to create more and improve their skills. Displaying artwork also shows preschoolers that their efforts are appreciated and valued.

Encouraging preschoolers to draw is a great way to help them develop their creativity, motor skills, and self-expression. By providing a safe and supportive environment, being positive and encouraging, providing a variety of materials, giving them the freedom to create, making drawing fun, and displaying their artwork, you can unlock their creativity and help them reach their full potential. As an educator or parent, you play a vital role in fostering their love for art and nurturing their creativity.

Preschoolers have a natural inclination towards art, and it is our responsibility to encourage them to explore their creativity. Drawing is a great way for preschoolers to express themselves and communicate their thoughts and ideas. By providing them with the right tools, a supportive environment, and encouragement, we can help them unlock their potential and develop their skills.

It is important to remember that each preschooler is unique, and they may have different preferences and abilities when it comes to drawing. It is essential to respect their choices and allow them to explore their creativity at their own pace. As educators or parents, we must provide them with the resources and support they need to succeed.

Encouraging preschoolers to draw is a rewarding experience that helps them develop essential skills and fosters their creativity. By providing a supportive environment, being positive and encouraging, providing a variety of materials, giving them the freedom to create, making drawing fun, and displaying their artwork, we can unlock their potential and help them reach their full potential. Let us encourage our preschoolers to draw and unleash their creativity.