If you want to take a peek into the mind of a child, look at their drawings. Anyone who works with kids, or who has young children of their own, likely has a large stash of artwork that has been carefully (or sometimes not so carefully) crafted on a daily basis by the little ones in their life. So many children love painting and drawing and making, and I think it’s a beautiful thing to encourage.
As a teacher, I immensely appreciated when the students I’d sometimes only just started to get to know handed me drawings or crafts. It was so valuable to be able to have these keepsakes to help me to stay inspired and motivated in my profession.
I love admiring the creativity that is displayed in the different drawing styles of each child. You get a glimpse of their imagination, of what the world looks like to them. Smiling faces and disproportionate bodies, a world with lots of glitter and bright colours.
Children are often comfortable with reflecting less positive views in their drawings too, whether intentionally or not. They sometimes give you a glimpse at something that is playing on their minds, or a concern that they have.
Now, as a mother, it’s been a joy to watch my little 1-year-old begin to draw. She needs to wrap her whole hand around our wide-grip pencils to be able to hold them, and she always likes to hold two at a time – one in each hand. She can draw ‘dots’ or ‘scribbles’ and currently finds it much more interesting to select the coloured pencils than to actually form an image with them. It’s so precious to watch her begin to discover the power of drawing, and I am very much looking forward to seeing how her drawing continues to evolve over time.
There is a lot more to children’s drawings than pencil marks and paint splotches. There’s an active little mind of thoughts, ideas, characters and stories behind it. So next time a child hands you a drawing, think of it as a window into their world, and thank them for sharing it with you.
(Edited from original post written in July, 2016)
If you’d like to read more of my musings, then take a look at this post where I share my thoughts on whether technology will replace teachers.
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