Preschooler's Artwork: An Obvious Expression of Written Language!


"Silk Moths Erupting" artwork by a 4 yr old. (6/19/12) chalk pastels on black paper
All photos on this post were taken by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

When this four yr old proudly displayed her artistic creation depicting the "silk moths erupting," I chuckled with delight, but I also saw the wonderful and not-so-subtle connection between her work of art and her work of writing! "EORP" was her way of writing about the "eruption" which was a big event in our Preschool classroom that day.

Just yesterday, a little child quietly handed me her drawing of "a person crying" and she told me, "This is for you, Ms Carolyn. I feel better now." Her artwork portrayed so much emotion it could fill a chapter in a book!

Young children start making art when they are very young. I've seen photos of children as young as 9 months old with a marker in hand and a piece of paper making art! (Pudding finger paints are really fun for young toddlers, by the way.
Here's the link for a recipe for Simple Pudding Paint.)

In fact, last Thanksgiving we had the pleasure of gathering with relatives who had a 2 yr old daughter. When this beautiful little one woke from her nap, she went straight to her little drawing table and sat down and just starting drawing! There were probably a dozen people waiting for her to wake up from that nap, yet, she calmly toddled by us all and proceeded to do her favorite thing: trace her little plastic animals on her piece of art paper! She had such a perfect pencil grasp, I fully expected her to sign her artwork right then and there. (barely two!)

Art for young children is's's rich with "symbolic language" and stories and even writing (or pre-writing)! Art is very, very, very important in a young child's cognitive development. That is probably why making art is one of the favorite pastimes of Preschoolers. If we follow Maria Montessori's belief that a child has an inner guide (or spiritual nature) that creates an urge in the child to do what s/he needs to do to develop fully, then we will honor the child's pursuit of making art.
Proof of a child's psychic life may be found in the distinction that is made between its conscious and its subconscious activities. But even if we limit ourselves to more obvious and basic concepts, we must admit that there is a play of instincts within a child not only with respect to its physical growth and nourishment but also with respect to various psychic operations. (The Secret of Childhood. Maria Montessori, p. 29)
4 yr old with her artwork: "Tadpoles" (5/10/ 09) crayon, tape & art paper collage

When our frog eggs finally hatched and we got to see the tadpoles swimming around, I really chuckled with delight to see this wonderful rendition of the happy event! 

With the change of seasons, the PreK children loved categorizing trees...did the tree lose its leaves or did it stay green? We adults would all agree that categorizing is an important skill in just about every academic discipline.

4 yr old proudly displaying her art/botany work. (10/17/09) inks, stamps, paper.

Expressing what they are learning about the big, wide world is often proudly accomplished by young children through their art.

4 yr old with her art construction of the "Flag of Sri Lanka" 

4 yr old working on a "book": "Parts of the Tree"

4 yr old making art. The title of his art piece? "Computer"!

If you've ever wondered whether you should allow children to spend SO MUCH time making art, then wonder no more...instead, CELEBRATE their art. It's not only very beautiful, it's very important! You can read more about the importance of art in the early childhood environment by clicking on the title ARTS in the header at the top of this page!

I am so happy that you are reading this post! Please leave a comment or two below. I would love to hear from you! Do you have any art-making stories about young children to tell us?

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