Kids love drawing – and it’s no wonder why!
From the moment they learn how to hold a pencil in their small hands, many children cannot bear the thought of putting it down.
And this is why it’s a wise decision for parents to opt for washable felt-tip pens and crayons, as they are a lot cheaper than a new sofa or having to repaint the walls after the little ones have been getting creative!
So, what exactly are the benefits of learning to draw to a child’s development?
How can parents and teachers help to stimulate their creative side in such a way that it helps their learning?
What is the most effective method for helping children learn the basics of making their drawing realistic?
There are so many questions to be answered, and before you know it, you’ll be looking at your child’s works of art from a whole new perspective!
The Benefits of Drawing for Children
Drawing and sketching help children to improve their fine motor skills.
As they learn to hold a pencil, coordinate their movements and trace shapes, they get closer to learning to write.
· Stages of Development
From the age of 18 months to 6 years, children’s brains undergo a progressive process whereby scribbles and spirals give way to straighter lines and stick figures.
Movements which were uncontrolled in the beginning become more precise, and bit by bit, the child learns how to stop their pencil moving when they wish to.
Next, come their first drawings:
- Simple shapes
- Lines and strokes
- And then they draw people for the first time
This is where the child begins to draw, reproducing what they see and know. It may be far from realistic paintings, but at this stage, the child learns to express what they see in their own way.
· Health Benefits
Beyond developing their motor skills, drawing lessons for kids are beneficial for children’s health in many ways, helping them to:
- Get to know themselves and boost their self-esteem
- Express their emotions and state of mind with different shapes and colours
- Develop their cognitive skills by using engaging their brains
- Strengthen their fingers and their grip for better control over their tools
- Work on their concentration ability and observational skills
Drawing lessons for beginners are also good for the soul at any age, helping people to:
- Let off steam
- Reflect on their thoughts
Children are fast learners, and this is evident when they learn to draw. Representations become more precise, and more detail enters the frame.
Their first scribbles are replaced with more complex pieces such as real-life scenes where the adults can pick out characters, landscapes and animals, and recognise their relation to the story the child tells of their picture.
From the age of 6, observational skills develop and children begin to produce more realistic drawings. If you want to help them develop their artistic skills, why not sign them up to art classes?
How Do Art Classes Work for Children?
Children usually take their first art lessons at school, where they learn about drawing, colouring, making collages, sculpting models and also making music.
However, these things aren’t always taught in a way that helps children to perfect their skills and artistic technique.
If the artistic side of your child’s education holds a certain importance for you, drawing and painting lessons are a great option.
Extra-curricular art lessons will help your child to:
- Develop their knowledge of art culture
- Make use of their creative skills
- Learn basic drawing techniques
- Have a go at painting
- Learn to use different drawing tools such as crayons, felt pens and oil pastels
· Develop their Technique
When they’re growing up, children develop their sense of observation and their perception of reality evolves.
This means that as they progress, they can discover more complex drawing techniques, such as:
- Light and shade
- Introducing movement to a still drawing
By learning to draw at a young age, children quickly get to grips with the basics and learn to express themselves through their creations.
By trying different techniques, each child develops their own style. They may find that they prefer drawing Manga characters, drawing animals, reproducing facial expressions in a drawing or drawing landscapes – no stone will be left unturned for them!
The child will have the means to fully explore their artistic side.
By learning to tell stories through their drawings, expressing emotions and letting their imagination guide them, over time, drawing becomes better thought out and less random.
When a young child expresses their thoughts through their drawings, it’s usually an intuitive, unconscious expression. As they’re growing up, reasoning skills and the way they execute projects changes as they become more conscious of what others see in their art.
· The Mystery of the Right Brain
Some people believe that being able to draw is a talent, however, studies have shown that isn’t completely true.
The fact is, drawing teaches itself!
All children draw, but if they turn away from this activity, it's usually because they grow up and realise that their drawings do not reflect reality. Thinking they have no gift for this art, they simply give up.
This is what Betty Edwards says in her book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.
She also emphasises the need to exercise the right side of the brain in order to be able to produce more realistic drawings in a simple way: by viewing drawing as a less intellectual subject, but rather, an intuitive one.
By stimulating your right brain with specific exercises, you improve your drawing ability without even working on your technique.
Take the test to see whether you’re right-brained or left-brained!
· The Birth of an Artist
Some people like writing, singing, making music, whereas, for others, drawing comes out on top.
Parents should encourage their children’s motivation to draw. After the age of 12 years, drawing classes can help teens get to grips with the basics of illustration, caricatures, portraits, comics, and realist or abstract drawing.
Regularly practising your drawing skills can broaden your outlook and the way you see the world, even if you're not aiming towards a career as an illustrator.
To really blossom in your artistic ability from a young age and to learn to draw in an effective way, it’s important to find an art teacher who is adaptable and can take the abilities and needs of the learner into account so that they make the best possible creative progress.
The drawing teacher should be able to deliver suitable teaching so that the child makes good progress whilst expressing their creativity.
This is why it’s so important that the teacher knows how to set work which is appropriate for their level and help them in a personalised way.
Online Art Resources for the Little Ones
Before the age of 7, children aren’t developed enough to take drawing lessons.
Of course, they can take part in drawing and painting workshops, however, one to one sessions which aim to train them to be an artist are too advanced.
As a parent of an under-7, why not opt for more sensory workshops where your child can get to discover new things?
The little ones love new experiences – they’re great for developing their cognitive ability - and this is why it’s so important to get them involved in different activities. This can involve anything from making models to painting, and from making a collage to drawing.
When it comes to drawing, as we’ve already seen, the child learns to better control their movements whilst also exploring emotionally. This helps them to build their personality and gain confidence.
In the digital age, there are plenty of online resources to help children get creative and work on their artistic ability!
We mustn’t forget that drawing is a type of play for children. The objective of practising their drawing is not to impose anything, but to encourage their curiosity and make them keener to explore the world around them through art.
Thanks to the invention of touch-screen tablets, you can now introduce a new angle to drawing.
Of course, they can’t replace the feel of a wax crayon or the excitement of getting a new colouring book, but they are an interesting alternative for the child.
Their game-like and interactive properties stimulate children’s brains and help them get used to using technology.
There are many drawing and colouring apps available.
They are available for all ages (even adults) and offer different outcomes:
- Learning how to trace with your finger: by using the touchscreen feature to learn to draw a person, an animal or a building
- Learning to colour in: the child experiments with colour and learns through play
- Freehand drawing: the child creates their own drawings on the tablet with their finger or a stylus
- Developing their creativity: with the help of an app which tells a story which the child must illustrate
- Lay the foundations for writing: by learning to reproduce lines, curves and spirals
Some apps have succeeded in combining traditional drawing on paper and virtual reality. These provide enriching experiences for the child who can see their drawings become a part of the application. Squiggle Fish is just one example of this kind of app, which brings drawings to life.
There are also plenty of print-out drawing activities which you can download from the internet. Choose from landscapes to characters and you can even find some artistic activities which have an educational element to them.
The internet also offers plenty of drawing tutorials that teach children how to draw a particular object or give drawing tips through videos and step-by-step drawing instruction.
As your kids are growing up, their drawing abilities will advance. There are many online drawing tutorials dedicated to teaching children and young adults about everything from drawing basics to still life sketches, contours, shading, ink drawing, gesture drawing, digital drawing, shadows, cross hatching, rendering, perspective drawing, drawing people, life drawing and blending as they learn how to draw.
There are also plenty of drawing lessons online to choose from. These are for all ages and levels, and their objective is to get people into art, no matter what their ability. Or if you're after face to face lessons, consider drawing class London or anywhere around the UK on Superprof.