Art Awareness examines the development of children's art from the scribbling of a toddler to the more elaborate work of the gradeschooler. Children's drawing progresses developmentally. The expressive gestures of the toddler, from the moment they can be recorded by crayon or pencil, gradually evolve into a set of consistent symbols or basic patterns. This development occurs in the context of play; it is not taught. This art is much like a window into the child's world. It plays an important role in children's overall mental development. The resource also examines the role of parents and other caregivers in nurturing creative expression in drawing. We hope to create an online version of the program that will be found on the Courses section of The WonderWise Parent.
The key to understanding child art is to understand how the development of a child's motor and intellectual skills transform creative effort. The Scribbles of a toddler evolve into emerging Shapes. The child then begins to combine shapes to form a pleasing balance. Mandalas are two or more shapes with a common center and form the basis for many religious and spirtual symbols. Without any instruction, these ancient forms are spontaneously drawn by preschool children beginning around three years of age. Then Suns and Radials appear along with Aggregates of combined shapes. The first real Human is drawn around age four followed quickly by animals, trees, and houses to comprise the first Pictures. At about five years, children begin to assemble Scenes involving all picture elements to tell a story. By the time a child begins first grade, artistic growth has been amazing.