Drawing is an activity that is often very popular with young children, and is also an activity that is used in primary schools. But, sometimes, it is hard to tell whether there are actually any benefits to giving your child some crayons and some paper. Is it just random creativity, or are there some serious benefits that can aid their development? The Early Teacher is here to explain exactly what the benefits of drawing are, including determining whether drawing can develop fine motor skills.
So, is drawing good for development? Whether it be a simple stickman drawing, a casual doodle, or a family portrait, drawing helps to develop children’s creative skills, emotional intelligence, and even their communication skills. These are all relevant and vital skills that contribute to flourishing into a young adult.
Keep reading to find out more about the benefits of drawing, as well whether it truly is good for development, and how drawing helps to develop children cognitively.
Does Drawing Help Child Development?
Drawing is an activity that lots of children love to do, whether it be at school or at home. But, sometimes, it's hard to tell whether there are any true developmental benefits to it. Does drawing only develop creative skills or does it encourage development on a deeper level?
Drawing is a great activity to help children develop with regards to social and emotional wellbeing. A 2020 study found that through the use of drawing, toddlers are able to identify the difference between positive and negative emotions and demonstrate that through their drawings. The study also found that drawing could help toddlers to express their emotions through the use of imagery. Where they were not yet ready to express their emotions verbally or through physical signs such as crying, children would use drawing as a tool to express themselves instead.
This study shows how drawing can help children to develop emotionally and in their confidence to portray their emotions. The study also found that through drawing and learning to recognise their emotions, eventually children went on to understand that other children have their own emotions too. All of these factors prove how drawing can help children to develop into emotionally mature and aware young people.
Drawing also helps children to develop their fine motor skills. One study explains that the key to developing a child’s fine motor skills is to provide them with activities that don’t frustrate them and are suitable for children of all abilities. In doing so, you allow children to enjoy themselves through creativity whilst simultaneously developing their fine motor skills and learning how to hold a pencil. Therefore, drawing can act as a great tool for developing fine motor skills whilst also entertaining children.
What are the Benefits of Drawing for Children?
Other than emotional development, there are a number of other ways in which drawing can benefit children's development. Below we have detailed these benefits to demonstrate why you should encourage your child to continue to draw and express themselves.
On a very basic level, the act of drawing helps children to enhance their creative skills and use their imagination. Whether that be by drawing a character that they have created inside their head, drawing themselves working their dream job, or even drawing a picture of their summer holiday. These imaginative and creative skills are key to your child’s development throughout school and into adult life.
Drawing is also a great method of increasing concentration skills. A 2009 study found that doodling and drawing can help to create discipline within the brain to help people focus on one thing at one time rather than going off on tangents. This is a vital skill for children, and if they can begin to develop this at a young age through drawing for fun then these actions can be replicated and applied as they grow older.
Drawing can be a great tool for developing the communication skills of children when introduced at a young age. Learning to draw circles, as well as horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines are the first steps in being able to form letters, enabling your child to write. A study from 2012 also found that children can utilise drawing to help communicate their feelings and create symbols about their feelings. This is effective for their development because it involves conscious thought processes that helps them to decide how they are going to portray these emotions. This is significant because communication is a vital skill for adult life and often those who have not developed this ability properly in childhood struggle with friendships and relationships throughout their adult life.
Is Drawing a Fine Motor Skill?
Fine motor skills are skills and actions that involve the movement of small muscles in the body, such as grasping an object like a pencil. When children are first born, they spend the majority of their time with their hands closed and their fingers not moving very much, but as they grow into toddlers they begin to develop the use of these muscles as part of the development of their hand-eye coordination.
Introducing drawing to your toddler can help to encourage the development of their hand-eye coordination, even if it is just through learning to hold a crayon or pencil. Learning to use their grip and strength to hold a crayon can then lead on to them learning to apply pressure to the crayon to doodle on some paper. These small steps all contribute to the development of the movement in their hands and their understanding of how they control what they touch.
How Does Drawing Help Cognitive Development?
Drawing can help children develop cognitively because it involves the use of various senses which contributes to the development of neural connectors in the brain. Neuroscience research has discovered that the use of creative arts in schools, such as drawing, singing, and dancing encourages the development of essential thinking tools that help children to express themselves emotionally whilst also improving their social skills through the evolution of these neural connectors.
Furthermore, the research also found that when children engage in these kinds of arts they begin to develop the ability to understand the way humans work on a deeper level. For example, children are able to understand the idea of expressing themselves, and how to convey meaning, but also how to think in more complex ways on a day to day basis. Therefore, it is clear to see that drawing can have a strong impact on the cognitive development of young children, which is only going to benefit them in life as they grow older.
Drawing Sets at The Early Teacher
The Early Teacher provides a range of children’s drawing and painting sets to help entertain your children and encourage their development in different areas. Our range of drawing sets have all been safety tested and selected with your child’s safety, development and enjoyment at the forefront. For more information on our drawing sets don’t hesitate to take a look today.