Drawing and Writing for Children
Are drawing and writing the one and same thing?
Before the step of creating the intentional strokes required by tracing and writing, children draw and scribble freely as a means of expression. It is also a way for preschool-age children to develop their observation and fine-motor skills, by making broad strokes and drawing freehand with finger paint, then observing the cause and effect of how colours interact.
Misty Adoniou, a Senior Lecturer in Language, Literacy and TESL at the University of Canberra, recommends promoting the value of drawing in a learning environment, where writing often takes priority over drawing once school starts. Instead, we could encourage drawing as a simple means of creative expression, rather than a special skill reserved for the "talented" few.
Drawing improves children's ability to eventually create the deliberate strokes when it comes time to learn to write. Laura Sowdon, an occupational therapist and educator, recommends that it's important to go slow and focus on the long-term goal of them learning to really write.
She writes, "Preschool and kindergarten age children don’t actually have the coordination, mentally or physically, to write. They only possess the ability to draw. So we need to stop and teach them to draw. Teach them to draw shapes, people, houses, and flowers. Let them develop those fine motor skills and good pencil grip that will lead to good handwriting later on."
We all love our children's drawings, so go ahead and let them draw. 🙂🌈