At our house, the match isn’t between 2 countries, it’s between soccer and Elsa. What’s happening at your house? Good thing it’s possible to have fun with both. With an inside day weather-wise, it was time to get out the crayons and markers for some drawing play. Did you know that drawing is a powerful activity for early learning and brain development? Not all kids enjoy drawing but either soccer and Elsa are pretty appealing or maybe even both. Kids–and adults–do not have to be good at it!! It’s a form of PLAY.
When kids are drawing and coloring, they are exercising both muscles and brains. It’s easy to see how children are using the small muscles in their hands, fingers, wrists, and arms. It’s not so easy to see how brains are focusing and paying attention as well as coordinating movements using drawing tools. The brain is making pictures in the mind as the body is making pictures on paper. Making mind-pictures is called visualization and it is an important thinking skill.
Just as we use words and language to communicate, we also use pictures to tell about experiences. Children can draw pictures to share with others. As kids both create and explain about their drawings, they will be using language too, such as the words for colors and shapes, and entire sentences. Adults have figured out that pictures hold meaning, but this is something that kids need to learn. Just in case we couldn’t figure it out, the artist is letting us know that she is now Elsa.
Having children draw and talk about these drawings is one way to reinforce this idea of images and what they mean. Parents and caregivers can ask questions like “Has the soccer game started in your picture?” Drawing also stimulates the imagination of children. “What might happen on this soccer field?” This is just some of the early learning and brain development potential when kids draw. As a reminder, we do not have to be good at drawing in order for it to be fun. Does your child enjoy this kind of play? Do you?