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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.


Stefano's (18 months old) first onomatopoeic scribble, the motorcycle.
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Figure 10: Stefano's (18 months old) first onomatopoeic scribble, the motorcycle.

Mentions: Stefano (aged 18 months), always had a particular love for any kind of vehicle, most of all motorcycles, and whenever he saw one he would signal its presence with the characteristic sound “Vroom, vroom.” He would repeat this noise when he played with his toy cars and, finally, he added this sound to his scribbling activity (Quaglia and Saglione, 1976). On such occasions, he enjoyed drawing a line that expanded over the floor and stretched through the whole apartment. When asked what he had drawn, he would repeatedly state that he had drawn a “Bibì” (i.e., “beep beep”), a term with which he indicated both cars and motorcycles indiscriminately. When he was finally convinced to draw on sheets of paper, he created the following drawing (see Figure 10): a line that, not being able to expand endlessly, reduced itself to a tangle of “streets.”


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

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

Stefano's (18 months old) first onomatopoeic scribble, the motorcycle.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 10: Stefano's (18 months old) first onomatopoeic scribble, the motorcycle.
Mentions: Stefano (aged 18 months), always had a particular love for any kind of vehicle, most of all motorcycles, and whenever he saw one he would signal its presence with the characteristic sound “Vroom, vroom.” He would repeat this noise when he played with his toy cars and, finally, he added this sound to his scribbling activity (Quaglia and Saglione, 1976). On such occasions, he enjoyed drawing a line that expanded over the floor and stretched through the whole apartment. When asked what he had drawn, he would repeatedly state that he had drawn a “Bibì” (i.e., “beep beep”), a term with which he indicated both cars and motorcycles indiscriminately. When he was finally convinced to draw on sheets of paper, he created the following drawing (see Figure 10): a line that, not being able to expand endlessly, reduced itself to a tangle of “streets.”

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.