Creativity plays a huge part in a child’s development, and it is a skill that parents should encourage from a very young age. It is vital to nurture creativity because creativity is what inspires healthy curiosity and gives children a way to express themselves freely. Parents can slowly introduce various art tools and materials that their little ones can draw and experiment with.
A good time to start is when they are about 12-15 months. At this stage, there is no segregation between art and pre-writing skills: they are one and the same. But once they figure out that they can combine art supplies and movement to create lines and scribbles, that’s when the fun really starts. Aside from experiencing the power of cause and effect, here are some other benefits of drawing for children.
Improved Motor Skills
Who would have thought something as simple as a couple of scribbles could contribute to the development of your child! Each time your child draws, it is an opportunity to practice eye-hand coordination to guide their hands to create art. It may look like simple movements to us, but the act of drawing and scribbling helps develop fine motor skills in their tiny hands and fingers. As their drawing slowly becomes more elaborate, this will then allow more gross motor skill development in their arms and shoulders in preparation to write later on. In turn, they will also do better in other activities that require motor skills like learning to button their own buttons, tying shoelaces and sports.
Learn Distance, Textures and Size Comparisons
Understanding distances, textures, and various size differences is an easy task for us. However, young children may not have the cognitive skill to understand these concepts yet, so parents should provide more opportunities for their children to draw so that they can learn. By joining dots, they learn about distance. By using various art materials, papers and surfaces, they learn textures. Slowly, they would learn to analyse the differences and explore different art methods to create multiple outcomes. Parents can also help by drawing examples of what is big and small, far and near, and let their children try other drawing tools like chalk, paint, and crayons.
As they grow older and get more practice, you will notice that your little one’s drawing will become more detailed. This is thanks to hand movements that are more precise now that they have better control over their pencils and crayons. They will even begin to mix and match colours!
Freedom to Express Themselves
Although drawing and art allow the freedom to express oneself, it is more of a sensory experience for younger children and learning about cause and effect. There is no need for instructions. Just hand over baby safe paint a jumbo pencil or crayons, and let them experiment and explore.
This newfound independence will make your little one feel that first sense of achievement. Just sit back, observe, offer praises and let them have freehand. The smiles and proud looks on our faces are all the encouragement they need.
Drawing can also promote a good pencil grip. Most toddlers aged 1-2 would start holding a pencil or crayon with a full fist grip and make marks using the whole arm. From there, they would progress to holding a pencil with the help of their pincer grip. By 2-3 years old, their wrists would have straightened, and your little one should be able to copy a circle or trace on dotted lines.
At 3-4 years of age, parents would see the beginnings of the tripod grip. They can hold the pencil or crayon with their thumb, index finger, and middle fingers at this stage. They will also progress from whole arm movements to hand only movements when drawing.
Ultimately, the goal is for your child to develop a dynamic tripod grip by the age of 4-6 years old in preparation to write. So getting them the correct drawing and writing tools would help them better their grips.
Better Attention Span
Drawing also promotes a better attention span. Kids tend to pay closer attention for longer periods when interested in an activity. More importantly, recent studies in neuroscience have found that even the simple act of random doodling can help people concentrate, understand new concepts and retain more knowledge. Besides, having the freedom to create art and draw whatever they want is an activity that will surely keep them focused on the task at hand.
What Can Parents do to Encourage Art and Writing Skills?
- Make art a regular part of playtime.
- Set up a drawing station free of distractions like the television or various electronic gadgets
- Offer safe, non-toxic easy-to-grip crayons, thick pencils, and washable markers.
- Remember to match art supplies to the type of project and the child’s age and ability.
- Reduce the mess by covering the work surface with mahjong paper or recycled newspaper.
- Consider taping the paper down on the table so it doesn’t move as they draw.
- Dress your child in an old shirt or let them wear a protective apron so that YOU do not overreact from the mess.
It is essential to choose art supplies that are high quality and of good value, although we’re sure all parents would agree that the magic word here is washable and erasable. To cater to growing children’s needs, we’ve come up with a product that will cover all stages, from finger paint play to washable big size crayons to regular crayons when they have mastered their tripod grip.
Start with our Washable Classic Paint Play and allow your little ones to use their fingers or a brush. It offers Sensory play, which stimulates senses such as touch, movement, sight and hearing. Its thick but somewhat slimy texture is sure to pique their curious minds. Pour some into a ziplock bag and watch your little one have fun prodding at it, mixing up all the colours without the mess.
Our 8ct Washable Big Crayons are chunky and great for tiny hands that are still at the full fist grip stage. Remember to encourage your budding little artist and shower them with lots of praises! After all, scribbling and doodling are a precursor to writing.
Is your child showing the beginnings of the tripod grip? Try our 12ct Washable Regular Crayons for kids. Great for 3 – 4-year-olds who are starting to draw lines and trace! For children who have progressed to colouring within the lines, we also have washable markers and Erasable Picture Cards where children can colour over and over again without wasting paper.
Head on over to our website www.krafteecolor.com for more information about our products and how to purchase them. Start making art a regular part of playtime today!