Kids’ drawing – 6 fascinating stages!

Kids Drawing

Kids’ drawing is really fascinating! Before they can speak, read or write, kids can make marks. You might not think of it as drawing but it’s definitely the beginning of something great!

Drawing  is fantastic for kids’ observational skills, fine motor skills, problem solving and not least mental health! It can also help develop confidence and imagination.

At PKS we make personalised colour bottle bands and personalised kids’ cutlery. We are a mum run company and we are always interested in helping kids be their best! We love seeing our kids draw and how their drawing changes as they grow!

Kids Painting

Different stages of kids’ drawing really do reflect stages of child development – it’s a really great idea to keep your kids’ drawings from a very early age so you can see how they progress. It’s fascinating to see their development in this way.

Kid with Water Bottle and Bottle Band

Kids’ drawing – the first stage

The first stage of kids’ drawing is scribbling!.

Whether that’s with a pencil or chalk, once they can hold it they become interested in the marks they can make on paper, walls, cardboard – almost anything! Even making marks in sand on the beach is drawing. 

At around 15 – 18 months babies can hold a pencil or chalk and grip it but with the whole hand rather than with the pencil grip that develops later.  This is when kids’ drawing really begins! They are likely to just scribble or make vertical lines rather than draw objects. A fascination begins though with this way of communicating! 

It can be tempting to discourage your child from drawing on things that are not paper – particularly if they start drawing on the walls! It’s a good idea to encourage kids’ drawing by giving them a space for drawing and making it clear where it isn’t acceptable to draw too!

Now’s the time to get a store of child friendly paints in, some crayons, coloured pencils, brushes and perhaps some chalks as well as paper – and save some of that cardboard recycling for your child to draw on too! 

At this stage kids’ drawing is about learning what sort of mark the different materials make, and what moving the brush or pencil this way or that way will do to the mark. It’s a great way for kids to relax and get absorbed in a task! Kids are also practising gripping things at this age – think of how tightly even a tiny baby can hold onto your finger!

PKS personalised bottle note bands are perfect on a water bottle as a personalised baby bottle for toddlers! They’ll love the texture of the silicone that our colour bottle bands are made of.

Painting Colours

Kids’ drawing – from around 2 years

Kids of this age are still in the scribbling stage! At the beginning of this stage, kids draw by grabbing a pencil or crayon with the whole hand and making sweeping strokes that sometimes go off the page!

Kids start to have some control over their grip – but again they don’t have the fine motor control that will later develop.

Two year olds love to try out paints and scribble with crayons. Most drawing for kids of this age doesn’t have much form – but it’s developing lots of skills! Fine motor control is being honed and your kids are loving the marks they are now able to make!

PKS have wonderful personalised baby cutlery sets that can help toddlers practise the fine motor skills needed to spear food and get it to their mouths!

From around 3 years 

Kids’ drawing at this age is beginning to have some form!

Kids now have better hand-eye coordination and better motor control so what they are drawing will have more shape and form. They really start to see drawing as a good way of communicating what they are imagining or what they see.

It’s often common for drawing for kids of this age to have lots of circles, dots and lines in it. Circles and spirals are particularly evident! Often circles have lines radiating from them – think of a 3 year old drawing the sun!

3 year olds can often grip a pencil in a way similar to the way they will later hold a pencil for writing. If your child finds a pencil difficult to hold then wider crayons or fatter pencils will be easier to hold.

Adults often expect their kids to be drawing objects or at least making something recognisable out of their scribbles at this age, but although your child may talk about what they are drawing it usually isn’t obvious what it is!

It’s important for kids’ drawing to be child led – too often we try to make a child’s drawing into something when really it’s an experiment in mark making! And that is truly creativity at work!

PKS personalised colour bottle bands are also really great for helping kids grip onto their water bottles easily! The silicone name band gives a child something to hold onto and grasp. This is important for developing hand strength!

Painting of Flower

At around 4 years 

Your child at 4 years old may start doing drawing which more closely resembles objects, people and animals. Kids’ drawing becomes a way of communicating what’s in the imagination. Drawings may become more detailed with perhaps fingers and finer details on the face. Drawing could also become a bit more social – kids of this age often start school and can draw with other kids. 

Drawing for kids can be a great social activity – kids can share paints and pencils and talk to each other and to adults about what they are drawing. Your child can start to feel that a drawing has to be ‘right’ – when really the opposite is true. A drawing can never be wrong because it is a representation of your child’s own self-expression!

Parents often give kids colouring books around the age of 4 and many kids enjoy them – but it’s probably a good idea to keep a colouring book just for occasional use because free drawing is much more beneficial for kids. A colouring book constrains kids whereas free drawing and painting allows them to experiment and learn. See ‘What’s wrong with colouring books” by Christine McLean!

Drawing of House

At 5 years

By the age of 5 many children have good motor control and can hold a pencil well. More complex images can start to appear in your child’s drawing – houses, people, trees, rainbows, animals, grass –  any object that your child sees and wants to draw!

Kids’ drawing at this age becomes a way of problem solving – how to translate the object or animal they see or think of onto paper or card. Often kids at this age put themselves at the centre of a picture and the other things they draw will be things that are in their everyday experience.

From the age of 6

After the age of about 6,  kids’ drawing really starts to express imagination – but often figures and objects might seem to have little relationship to one another, almost as though they are floating! 

After age 7 kids’ drawings can seem to become much more linear and geometric with many more details. Tables often are drawn with objects on, houses can be drawn with rooms inside and objects in them. Skies tend to feature a lot at this age! Objects often don’t overlap each other – this comes after the age of 9.

Kids’ drawing really is fascinating because you see them developing their self expression and imagination. Some studies have even shown that it can improve maths results! It’s definitely great for kids’ mental health and gives them an avenue of expression that’s visual and creative.

PKS are always striving to bring your kids products that are visually eye-catching as well as practical and stylish! Have a look in our shop to see our range and look out for new products coming soon!