The child draws with wax colors, photo credit Oekaki Oe

Art Is A Process

A child’s artistic expression is a way of communicating with himself, others and the world around him. And so if your child draws a circle and says it’s a dog, give him/her support and show that you believe it. Maybe he wants to draw a dog’s house… Encourage him to experiment because the next moment the dog will become a car. Well, the car needs a garage… but it’s too big for paper, so the car becomes an apple, and with the strong push of a damp brush, the paper piercing. And all happy with dirty hands of color, the child yells at you, “I bit an apple, it’s gone, it’s gone! Do you want a bite?” And then he needs your support. Accept that magic and share it with your child.

To observe children in artistic activities: to listen to how they breathe, what their body position is, what their expression is, whether they enjoy their creative process or get bored, do they have difficulties in the process … Adults do not need to teach a child how to draw, nor to draw it. Do not give him ready-made “both by himself” templates, because, from the perspective of a child’s development, this is most damaging to him and destroys creativity. He should be supported not only with words but also with a gesture, a gentle smile, which will further motivate him to continue his work. Motivation can also be in the form of the question: “What did you draw? What could this be? What does this remind you of? …” Do not comment on children’s creativity, evaluate it, or criticize it.


Children decorate the wall
Children decorate the wall

What can a kid do?

In its creative development, the child goes through certain stages, which take place continuously. Due to the different tempo of development and individual differences, the possibilities of creative expression are different for each child individually. In the beginning, the line is a reflection of the development of the motor skill of the hands and muscles (from the wrist to the small muscles of the hand and fingers), not the result of the drawing.

The shape is usually a circle, irregularly shaped, accidentally formed by closing a line. In a circle, a child represents everything, an hour a car, an hour a house, a human figure… The human figure was originally drawn by a circle, then the child adds vertical and horizontal lines, thus forming the first human figure known as the cephalopod or the tadpole. The circle in the drawing is head and body at first, so nothing leaves out how adults think. Later, the circle elongates, the arms are joined for verticals, and the first facial features are those parts that are most flexible (eyes and mouth). The next phase separates the head from the body, the arms are still open, with or without fingers. The details with the nose and ears are completed and the lines of the hands are doubled. The partial movement of the figure is indicated by turning the foot to one side.

Children’s artworks also include houses, wood, sun, car… The stereotypes seen in the drawing are most often the result of the adult learning how the child should draw. The space in the child’s drawing is scattered in style. The child does not feel the space, but then on the bottom of the paper (sometimes marked with lines) he or she shifts down (left to right). That first string the child draws, arranged along the bottom edge of the paper, is the first composition. The child draws an interior space, by memory, not what he sees. This creates a transparent drawing, where everything is seen. As the child is not able to present the space in perspective, he often moves objects, so these drawings are called reflex drawings. A sense of color occurs in the child’s second year and peaks in the third and fourth years (enjoys the picture even when upside down). He prefers to choose warm colors for painting and later for others.

Children make hats from collage paper
Children make hats from collage paper

Children Expression

Before children can express their thoughts and ideas with words, they can also make art! They show their pleasure in music when they dance and they both get into her rhythms and moods. You can see how each child approaches the art opportunity in a unique, personal way. Through research and initiated by children and adults, children learn artistic techniques through which they can express ideas and feelings. By looking at and touching cultural artifacts, children realize the beauty of human diversity – and our many similarities. Art attracts men and women, young and old. Through color, line, shape/texture, people can convey a message about just about anything!

Art is fun! Art is engaging! Art unleashes human potential! Art brings a sense of peace and fulfillment! Everyone can benefit from art, every day!

Kids express their creativity every day! Babies twist their fingers in a food bowl and take a picture of the contents. The children lay down the blocks, and discover the story of the construction, of the creation of the object. They move the pens back and forth, filling the page with colorful lines. Preschoolers draw pictures of their families or draw fictional stories.

Art is a way for young children to:
• Connect with people and the wonders of nature
• express their original ideas and feelings
• gain a better understanding of how materials and tools work
• Share their unique perspectives on adults who closely monitor their research
• improve your small and large motor skills


Children are painting on a given theme
Children are painting on a given theme

Basic Visual Art Methods to Explore

Use a dry medium such as a crayon, marker, chalk, or colored pencil to make marks on a surface. Surfaces can be twodimensional such as paper or a sidewalk or three-dimensional such as wood or cardboard boxes. Other drawing media, primarily for older children, include pencils, charcoal, and oil pastels.

Use a wet medium such as watercolor, tempera, or acrylic paint to make a mark on a surface. This method usually involves a tool such as a paintbrush, sponge, or finger. Surfaces to paint can be two-dimensional such as paper and canvas or threedimensional such as clay and wood.

Attach various objects and materials to a surface to create a unified three-dimensional piece of art. These materials may vary from fabric and cardboard to wood and found or recycled objects.

Glue different sizes and shapes of two-dimensional pieces, such as paper, to another surface. Create the pieces by tearing or cutting (age 4 and older) the paper.

Create a three-dimensional object by modeling, carving, or attaching together a material or several materials. Adults often carve wood, ice, stone, and dried plaster, although none of these are suitable for young children. Recycled objects such as paper tubes and cardboard boxes, as well as a wide variety of other safe craft materials, can be attached together to create three-dimensional sculptures in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Sculptures can be painted, decorated with markers and crayons, and embellished in many other ways.

Mixed Media
Combine any two or more art materials together to create a unified piece to create what artists call works in mixed media. Collage and assemblage are examples of mixed media art.

Chopping scissors collage papir
Chopping scissors collage papir

Art Techniques

Artistic techniques and materials are not the goals, but the basic means of art education. Choosing one or more techniques, the child discovers and learns those instruments by which he can express his current feelings, his thoughts, desires, needs… For children isn’t all techniques and materials are appropriate. That is why the choice of these tools should be chosen thus to individual and age possibilities. The child should use them independently. Changes in the choice of materials and techniques have a stimulating effect on children and are highly desirable. It should be known that each child carries “his” themes that are hidden in the depths of his subconscious. Encouraged in the right way and at the right moment, the themes simply spring from the very being of the child.


Group of children painting, theme is Spring is here
Group of children painting, theme is Spring is here



Source: Early Childhood, Cherishing Young Children’s Creativity, Infants through 5 years
Janet Brown Stivers, M.Ed., Donna Schudel, M.A.

Written by

Irena Canji

I am a teacher in kindergarten. I have been working with children aged from three to seven since 2000. Also, I am a mother of two kids. My son is a teenager and my daughter is going to kindergarten. My main goal through the website is to show that the process is more important than the product. In childhood, kids need to play, have fun, learn through their experience.

The content of this website is an interesting activity for children. You don't need special skills, lots of money or too much preparing.

Just smile, only positive energy, and goodwill!