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I greatly enjoyed reading your interview on "coloring in". I am fascinated
by this subject and child drawing development. Recently someone on this
list mentioned that drawing came before language for primitive man. We
need to keep in touch with this most essential stage of human development
when we teach younger children.
I have a niece (age 7) who loves to color. I've questioned her a lot about
why she likes it so much and she says its relaxing and calming. She enjoys
coloring in more and more complex pictures and gets a great deal of
satisfaction when the entire piece is finished. I believe she treats it
like knitting a simple sweater--something to keep her hands busy and a way
to bring order to her little world. (Imagine 7 year old stress!!) She
readily admits that she "can't draw well enough to color in her own
pictures." Our image laden society catches kids younger and younger. How
can I inspire her to trust her own work? She watches me paint and draw all
We've had a lot of discussion here lately about training for art teachers.
I'm an artist and the most interesting thing I learned when I went back to
school (at Florida International Univ.in Miami) for my art ed certificate
was the information about child development in drawing. Whenever I teach a
drawing class, I show my samples of each stage which I've collected over
the years from young children, including preschoolers. Its fascinating to
teens and adults, who immediately understand when and why they stopped
Thanks for sharing your ideas.