The Different Steps in Children's Drawing

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Children when drawing and writing go through three different steps the first is scribbles; children begin to draw during their second year. At first, the intended representation is contained in gestures rather than in the resulting marks on the page. Two year olds treat realistic-looking pictures symbolically, but they have difficulty interpreting line drawings. The next step is the First Representational Form; around the age of three children’s scribbles start to become pictures. Often times the child makes a gesture with the crayon and they notice that they have drawn a recognizable shape, and they label it. Many parents and teachers spend much time promoting two to three year olds language and make believe play but relatively little time showing them how they can use drawings to represent their world. When adults draw with children and point out resemblances between drawings and objects, preschooler’s pictures become more comprehensible and detailed. A major milestone occurs when children learn to use lines to represent the boundaries of objects. This enables three and four year olds to draw their first picture. Fine motor and cognitive limitations lead the preschooler to reduce the image to its simplest form that still looks human. The third and final stage is the More Realistic Drawings; five and six year olds create more complex drawings, containing more conventional human and animal figures, with the head and body differentiated. Older preschoolers’ drawings still contain perceptual distortions because they have only just begun to represent depth. Realism in drawings appears gradually, as perception, language, memory, and fine motor capacities improve.
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