When my son was a baby, he would sit and babble and coo at everyone. If you sat him on your lap facing you, he would literally try to engage you in conversation by smiling, cooing, and squeaking at you.
He’s 2 now… and he is one of the loudest, most articulate 2-year-olds I’ve ever seen. He talks almost in full sentences, yells when you ignore him, and yells back if someone yells at him. He’s also in love with coloring on the walls… and himself.
So, what purpose does drawing and coloring serve in a child’s development?
I was at a birthday party today, chatting with one of the other moms about how toddlers all seem to go through the “color on the wall” phase. Both of my older kids did it, and my son is following in their footsteps religiously. He just loves to draw!
I decided to do some research on the topic because I found it pretty interesting. Kids develop in such cute little ways… from cooing and babbling to trying to refine motor skills, it is just adorable to watch.
I came across an article online about kids’ drawing being a developmental thing. That would definitely explain why all toddlers love to draw, wouldn’t it?
“Cratty (1986) termed scribbling “motor babbling.””
This stage of development is a full-body experience for most toddlers. The paper is so big to them! They settle into a sort of rhythm when they’re drawing, their fine motor skills not yet fully developed or controllable. Usually it looks like they try to color or paint with their entire arm, which in turn leads to them moving their entire bodies to get the drawing utensil to do what they want it to.
There are a lot of theories about why kids love to draw, and many attempts at interpreting kids’ drawings. It’s interesting to see how kids bring to life what they see and experience.
My older kids are fascinated by horror lately. I’m not sure if it’s because I told them that was what I loved when I was 8 and 9 (R. L. Stine ruled!), but they adore horror and thrillers. It was no surprise that they wanted to watch Supernatural with me… later on, they decided to draw demons. Go figure, right?
All three of my kids have always been extremely fond of art. Drawing, painting, coloring… they just never liked the lines, although they would still try to do a “good job” of coloring what was there, they always wound up adding their own little characters, shapes, or elements to a coloring book page.
I have a few of my daughters’ paintings hung up in my hallway that I’d love to have matted or framed. They deserve it! Those kids did some of their most colorful work in preschool; giant paper covered in so many colors you had no idea what to make of it, but appreciated the color. They still draw some of the most awesome stuff… I can’t begin to tell you how great their art is to me. I’m sure everyone feels that way about their kids, right? =)
So, they already know how to become an artist…. But what will they really want to be (or really become) when they grow up? I have no idea… for now, though, they can create all the art they want and enjoy every moment of it. I’ll hang the pictures.