Supporting young children drawing: developing a role | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 2, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1743-5234
  • E-ISSN: 2040-090X


This article recognizes drawing as a child-appropriate symbolic activity young children use to make meaning in the world. Evidence from a three-year longitudinal study (Ring, 2003; Anning & Ring, 2004) of seven young children drawing at home, pre-school and school is taken as a starting point for considering the role of adults in supporting young children's drawing behaviours. Narrative is also drawn from an ongoing research project in which experienced teachers in English educational settings working with children aged between 3 and 5 years chart their exploration of their role as they strive to tune in to their needs in relation to drawing. The article highlights the importance of adults making time and space for drawing; ensuring the materials they provide engage both genders; recognizing a wider range of drawing activity as developmentally appropriate for meaning-making; developing and valuing their role as co-constructors working alongside children. The emergent findings show the importance of supporting drawing on both a large and small scale, outdoors as well as indoors for both girls and boys.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): drawing; meaning-making; teacher support; young children
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