Children can have fun with crayons and colors –and paper and walls– any time of the year and develop some important kindergarten readiness skills and strategies. Christmas has super ideas of things to draw, some easier for younger children and some harder for those older and especially interested in drawing.
Drawing a circle sounds simple but requires a great deal of muscle control. Parents and caregivers can draw a circle and let kids color all around. Cutting out the circle and attaching a bit of ribbon makes a wonderful decoration and gives children just as wonderful a sense of accomplishment and pride. A rectangle for a present is also easy to decorate with lines and colors. But even quite young children can draw reindeer, Santa, and trees.
As children draw and color, they are developing brain connections and improving their muscle control. They are practicing their attention and focusing skills , plus stimulating imaginations. When drawing, the hand is not the only part that is making a picture, so is the mind. This is called visualization. Making pictures in the mind, is what we do when we are reading; drawing can help children with this process. It also reinforces the link between marks on a page and meaning.
Pictures are also another form of communicating and sharing with others. Kids use language to explain and tell about their pictures, using the words for colors, shapes and more. Drawing is a form of play because it is very much an internal activity. It is both personal and social.
Not all kids are interested in drawing with paper and crayons, so sometimes parents and caregivers need to find things that are more appealing like drawing with clean fingers in chocolate pudding or coloring with food colors on cookie dough! Would your child like to play with some kind of drawing, today?
Drawing is not just for the right side of the brain, it’s great learning and kindergarten readiness fun for the all of the brain and the body, too. Drawing can help children in many ways. Here are a few:
- Obviously drawing is one way to develop control of the small muscles in the hand, fingers and lower arm. Brains figure out how to coordinate what the hands and eyes so they work together.
- Sometimes as children draw they may stick out their tongues. This helps the brain focus and pay attention.
- Drawing stimulates the imagination. Children also play and create as they draw.
- As children draw, they are representing what they are seeing in their mind. Visualizing is an important skill to practice.
- Pictures and images are another way that children use to communicate.
As your child is drawing, if appropriate, you can print a word or two about the drawing underneath. In this way, kids begin to understand that words and images are connected. When we read, we create pictures in our mind from the words.
Children first begin to draw with unrecognizable scribbles but gradually the random lines begin to resemble real objects. Chalk and easels are good tools as children start to draw. Chalk is usually quite washable and not quite so hard on walls. Being smaller than felt pens, though, it’s easy to pop into a mouth so little ones need adult supervision. The dust can also be a concern. Good thing vacuums can make short work of most of it. On a piece of paper cut out in a shape, chalk scribbles make great art.
For some Halloween magic, can you cast a spell on the eraser so that it makes drawings disappear?
Instead of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, for some kindergarten readiness learning and fun draw on some paper. (You are allowed to groan at that joke if you remember the book by that title.) Drawing can help the development of brain connections and small muscle control.
This is a drawing of a hand. Tracing around a hand with a felt marker will leave a line on paper and on a hand! Drawing is also great practice for attention and focusing skills. As children draw, they are playing, stimulating imagination and representing what they see around them. Pictures on paper encourage visualization, that is creating pictures in the mind.
After your child draws a picture of a hand, you can print the word hand underneath and then read it together. This helps your child understand that written words on a page have meaning. While this seems obvious to us, it is something your child has to figure out for later learning to read.
Talk about colors, too. Isn’t this quite a handful of early learning? And lots of fun?
Kindergarten readiness has legs! Actually, the legs were on a centipede. On a walk yesterday, a centipede crossed our path. Of course, we had to stop and look. It was easy to encourage little hands to draw a picture of the bug. While the color isn’t the same, nor are there as many legs, the picture … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Drawing Bugs for Fun & Learning
When it comes to drawing, I’m not far beyond the kindergarten readiness level. Some children will love to draw and some will be barely interested, but encouraging kids to draw helps with all kinds of brain connections. Easter bunny going all around Eye-hand coordination is one of the obvious brain connections as children learn to … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Easter Fun & Learning #5
Encouraging kids to draw also encourages kindergarten readiness. Wee little ones start out with random squiggles and scribbles that develop later into recognizable shapes and objects. Some kids love to draw and their talent shows at the age of 3 or 4! For other children (and many adults) drawing can be a struggle. Drawing has lots … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Spring Fun & Learning Activities #4
We might not think of paints, pencils, markers, and crayons as tools but for kids they are learning tools. Maybe that’s why we sometimes find evidence of colors on walls; kids weren’t scribbling but building. Pictures and drawing are another form of communication, just like words and speaking. Some children would rather draw than talk and some kids … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Hearts & Other Parts, Part 4
While learning the letters of the alphabet is not a requirement for all kindergarten programs, some familiarity and letter knowledge will help every child when it comes to basic kindergarten readiness. Motivating a young child to practice printing letters of the alphabet can be quite tricky. Printing is not an easy activity for kids–the necessary … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Holiday Writing & Drawing
Little kids have show n’ tell, big kids have Facebook. Big kids also have cameras and phones to take pictures of things they want to remember. What about little ones? They draw pictures. Drawing a picture is another strategy to help kids remember. Did something exciting happen at Halloween? Or on a child’s birthday? Provide … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Memory and Drawing
For some readiness for kindergarten fun, ask your child to draw a pumpkin. Drawing is a kind of language and certainly a kindergarten readiness activity. Some kids love to draw and their talent shows at the age of 3 or 4! For other children (and many adults) drawing can be a struggle. But for all children, … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Quick Draw McPumpkin