Importance of creativity and artistic play
Creative play and artistic activity are important to children’s overall development. They help nurture imagination, and also develop problem-solving, thinking and motor skills.
School children start to learn that some problems have a single solution (two plus two always equals four). They also develop skills for finding the right result for a given problem. But there are still many areas where things are not so black and white.
Creative play helps with learning and development, by letting children engage in problem-solving where there are no set or ‘right’ answers. With creative activity, the process is more important than the product.
By school age, your child is ready to soak up lots of new information. In the months leading up to the start of school, you might notice your child ask more questions about how things work – and there’ll be lots of ‘Why?’ questions, of course!
School-age children are usually more confident about themselves and around others than they were a year or so earlier – this is a good thing when it comes to creative pursuits.
Most school-age children take a keen interest in art and artistic activities . You can encourage creative play and imaginative development by stimulating your child’s creative urges.
School-age children might use colours and shapes to communicate feelings, ideas and messages (for example using lots of black to draw a dark scene or scary feelings). They might also use symbols to differentiate between objects in their drawings.
It can be pretty easy to work out children’s interests when you’re watching what they create. They will enjoy creating pictures on the same theme (dinosaurs or boats, say) over and over again.
You might notice that drawings and paintings become more detailed than when your child was a preschooler. For example, your child might be drawing people with five fingers and toes. Where your child used to draw scribbles and squiggles for trees and flowers, you’ll be able to recognise leaves, branches, trunks and petals.
School children are ready for ‘art appreciation’ – whether it’s music, sculpting or pictures. You and your child can talk about art, artists, favourite artworks and reasons for liking certain things. Why not visit an art gallery together, and talk about what you see?
General Information on Drawing Stages
Stages of Drawing in Child Development
By Rebecca Mayglothling
Some children begin to draw as soon as they can pick up a pencil, and they never seem to stop. Some children draw to appease the art teacher, but refuse the pen and paper elsewhere. Wherever a youngster falls on the drawing spectrum, most children proceed through the same basic stages of drawing and art creations.
One to Two Years
The first marks on paper are generally scribbles. Children view drawing as a kinetic activity, rather than an interpretation of the world. Allowing children to scribble strengthens fine motor muscles and introduces children to writing utensils. At the end of this stage, children may begin to give one word names to their scribbled creations.
Two to Three Years
Scribbling becomes more controlled, and shapes may begin to form. Circles may become faces, and the importance of the child naming their creation increases. Children may call a series of scribbles and random circles a “house,” though the picture does not look like a house. Allow children to create and name their creations, as this stage represents a child’s growing ability to create images representing the visual world.
Three to Four Years
Drawing becomes more controlled at this stage. The most common image is the person, with a circle face and straight lines for legs. The body does not appear yet. Artists in this age group are creating a conscious form, and drawings may become more complex. Symbols change often during this time as children are constantly searching for new images to represent.
Four to Five Years
The body is added to the person at this stage. Children begin to realize details are missing from their drawings, and they attempt to add the missing pieces. Hair joins the body on the person, along with ears, hands, fingers, feet and toes.
Five to Eight Years
Often referred to as the “schematic stage,” children begin to draw objects with more complex details, such as a house with a garage, trees, a dog, a family and a car in the driveway. Space relationship gains order and children tend to draw on a base line, moving away from their earlier “floating drawings.” The child’s understanding of two-dimensional concepts is reflected in their drawings. Children begin to communicate a deeper understanding of dimension and detail through their artwork.
Eight Years and Beyond
Artists at this stage begin to realize finer details are missing in their work. Objects begin to overlap within drawings, and minute details are added. Where a house may only have windows in previous drawings, an older child may add a person in the window, eaves on the edge of the house, or tree branches leaning over the roof. Dimensions increase and drawings become more complex.