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Reconsidering the scribbling stage of drawing: a new perspective on toddlers' representational processes.

Longobardi C, Quaglia R, Iotti NO - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: From expressing the dynamic qualities of an object and the child's relationship with it, to gradually reducing itself to a simple contour of a content no more "alive" on the paper, but only in the child's own imagination, we trace the evolution of the line as a tool that toddlers use to communicate feelings and intentions to the world that surrounds them.These drawings (13 in total) were extracted from a much wider sample derived from our studies on children's graphical-pictorial abilities, conducted on children aged 0-3 years in various Italian nurseries.Our results appear to indicate that scribbling evolves through a series of stages, and that early graphical activity in children is sparked and maintained by their relationship with their caregivers and the desire to communicate with them.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Turin Turin, Italy.

ABSTRACT
Although the scribbling stage of drawing has been historically regarded as meaningless and transitional, a sort of prelude to the "actual" drawing phase of childhood, recent studies have begun to re-evaluate this important moment of a child's development and find meaning in what was once considered mere motor activity and nothing more. The present study analyzes scribbling in all its subphases and discovers a clear intention behind young children's gestures. From expressing the dynamic qualities of an object and the child's relationship with it, to gradually reducing itself to a simple contour of a content no more "alive" on the paper, but only in the child's own imagination, we trace the evolution of the line as a tool that toddlers use to communicate feelings and intentions to the world that surrounds them. We will provide a selected number of graphical examples that are representative of our theory. These drawings (13 in total) were extracted from a much wider sample derived from our studies on children's graphical-pictorial abilities, conducted on children aged 0-3 years in various Italian nurseries. Our results appear to indicate that scribbling evolves through a series of stages, and that early graphical activity in children is sparked and maintained by their relationship with their caregivers and the desire to communicate with them.

No MeSH data available.


Anna's (33 months old) drawing of Enzo hitting another child, a “bad” scribble.
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Figure 5: Anna's (33 months old) drawing of Enzo hitting another child, a “bad” scribble.

Mentions: After finishing the drawing, the child was asked to make another drawing, this time of Enzo, the classmate she disliked most because, according to her, he was mean. Anna did not draw this picture happily (see Figure 5); first she traced a tangle of lines (see Figure 5A), and then she sketched other lines in the bottom part of the sheet of paper (see Figure 5B), without putting much care or effort into them. When asked: “Where is Enzo?” she pointed out the tangled lines in the center of the picture. Next, she was asked about the other lines in the drawing and the child answered that those lines were: “Enzo hitting another child.”


Reconsidering the scribbling stage of drawing: a new perspective on toddlers' representational processes.

Longobardi C, Quaglia R, Iotti NO - Front Psychol (2015)

Anna's (33 months old) drawing of Enzo hitting another child, a “bad” scribble.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4543818&req=5

Figure 5: Anna's (33 months old) drawing of Enzo hitting another child, a “bad” scribble.
Mentions: After finishing the drawing, the child was asked to make another drawing, this time of Enzo, the classmate she disliked most because, according to her, he was mean. Anna did not draw this picture happily (see Figure 5); first she traced a tangle of lines (see Figure 5A), and then she sketched other lines in the bottom part of the sheet of paper (see Figure 5B), without putting much care or effort into them. When asked: “Where is Enzo?” she pointed out the tangled lines in the center of the picture. Next, she was asked about the other lines in the drawing and the child answered that those lines were: “Enzo hitting another child.”

Bottom Line: From expressing the dynamic qualities of an object and the child's relationship with it, to gradually reducing itself to a simple contour of a content no more "alive" on the paper, but only in the child's own imagination, we trace the evolution of the line as a tool that toddlers use to communicate feelings and intentions to the world that surrounds them.These drawings (13 in total) were extracted from a much wider sample derived from our studies on children's graphical-pictorial abilities, conducted on children aged 0-3 years in various Italian nurseries.Our results appear to indicate that scribbling evolves through a series of stages, and that early graphical activity in children is sparked and maintained by their relationship with their caregivers and the desire to communicate with them.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Turin Turin, Italy.

ABSTRACT
Although the scribbling stage of drawing has been historically regarded as meaningless and transitional, a sort of prelude to the "actual" drawing phase of childhood, recent studies have begun to re-evaluate this important moment of a child's development and find meaning in what was once considered mere motor activity and nothing more. The present study analyzes scribbling in all its subphases and discovers a clear intention behind young children's gestures. From expressing the dynamic qualities of an object and the child's relationship with it, to gradually reducing itself to a simple contour of a content no more "alive" on the paper, but only in the child's own imagination, we trace the evolution of the line as a tool that toddlers use to communicate feelings and intentions to the world that surrounds them. We will provide a selected number of graphical examples that are representative of our theory. These drawings (13 in total) were extracted from a much wider sample derived from our studies on children's graphical-pictorial abilities, conducted on children aged 0-3 years in various Italian nurseries. Our results appear to indicate that scribbling evolves through a series of stages, and that early graphical activity in children is sparked and maintained by their relationship with their caregivers and the desire to communicate with them.

No MeSH data available.