The Benefits of Drawing

Kindred Art Studio in Montana Parent MagazineQ: How can we help our children develop important developmental skills in this modern area of technology and distraction?

A: Art.

Developing Your Child’s Eye and Hand Coordination

When a child is drawing they are strengthen their brain and developing eye-hand coordination. They are learning how to observe the angles, curves, dots and circles in an object and then transfer that information from the brain, to the hand, and then to the paper.

How Arts Positively Impact Your Child

The number one reason why art is such an appealing way to learn is that it’s fun. Our desire to create as human beings is strong. Kids want to draw and they love to use their imagination.

Primary Benefits of Drawing and Art:

  • Increased attention span – Children that may struggle to sit still, or who seem agitated or bored, will sit and become entirely engrossed when given an interesting art lesson. The key is that they are doing something they enjoy.
  • Focus and concentration – Drawing takes complete focus of the entire body, children actually want a quiet environment when they are drawing since it is difficult to talk and draw at the same time. It is great to see children so engrossed in a drawing that time seems to slip away.
  • Patience to complete tasks – When doing an art project, children will get into a zone and they will work in that zone until they feel satisfied with their efforts. I teach my students that even when they are unsure of the results they can still finish their art. It may turn out just the way they want in the end. This is an excellent opportunity to practice the discipline of patience.
  • Imagination – Drawing is all about imagination, there is no right or wrong way to draw. It is all about how the child perceives the subject they are drawing. I often ask students to be creative and I try to inspire them with multiple options, by giving them many options they get the excitement of choosing exactly how they want their drawing to look.
  • Problem solving skills – As a fine artist myself, I cannot stress enough the discipline I have gained from learning how to problem solve. When a child looks at an element of their drawing they may think, “I don’t like that.” I always teach them to ask themselves what they don’t like and how they can fix it or turn it into something else. When you see the accomplished look on their face when they have solved the problem you can feel proud and know that they are learning on their own.
  • Improved handwriting – When children are drawing they are practicing writing and penmanship without feeling like they are doing so. Learning to draw in the early stages is a good way to help children learn how to hold a pencil and strengthen the muscles in their hand. The careful lines and shapes they learn how to draw will be of great benefit in their handwriting skills.
  • Increased reading ability – Drawing and books go hand in hand. It is more interesting to draw a picture of a bear, for instance, if you have just read a book about a bear. Books are like a secret door into the imagination. When you read children a book and invite them to draw a picture, it will increase the enjoyment they get when reading.
  • Fun for all – Drawing is fun and art is engaging, while educational at the same time.

How to Encourage Drawing in Your Home

Create a space. I love it when my young students come to me and tell me that they have their own drawing space and a wall to hang their pictures. When they tell me this they are usually smiling ear to ear and are very proud of their artwork.

Try to find a small space in your home where your child’s “art space” can stay set up. If you are having to constantly set up and breakdown the workspace, art may not happen as often and as freely. Encourage your child by hanging up their art. Check out Pinterest for great ideas on how to incorporate your child’s art in your home décor.

Ask your child questions about their drawings. Every line, dot, animal, color or element, means something. Many young children’s drawing will often be done in story form. Example: This is my dad and I going to the store. This is my dog running in the park. When you take the time to learn about their artwork you will show them that their artistic expression is important.

This article written by Jennifer Mathson of Kindred Art Studio, appeared in the November 2014 issue of Montana Parent Magazine. To see full version of article, you may download a PDF here, or can see their digital version online here. Photography in article by Cami Joy Photography.

Kindred Art Studio in Montana Parent MagazineKindred Art Studio in Montana Parent MagazineKindred Art Studio in Montana Parent Magazine