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Time as a Key to Children's Drawing
August 22, 2002

"You cannot put an old head upon young shoulders." —Scottish proverb


A publication of the Australian Early Childhood Association, "Drawing and Painting with Under-Threes," authors Ursula Kolbe and Jane Smyth, describe how young children learn to draw and paint and how adults can support this development. One gift adults can provide, they argue, is time...

* Give children ample time to become familiar with materials. Unhurried, uninterrupted, and unstructured time to handle materials without having to 'make' something is essential.

* Time to repeat experiences over and over is crucial. Offer drawing and painting on a daily basis, if possible, but give children the choice of whether to engage in these activities or not. Children should never be required to produce a drawing or painting.

* Time for children to watch each other is essential as they learn through this. In watching they give each other support and encouragement.

* Don't waste children's time. Avoid colouring in sheets and other adult-designed activities aimed at making specific objects. These rob children of valuable time for developing skills and using marks to create meaning.

To learn more about AECA and its publications, go to www.aeca.org.au.


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