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.

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

LONGOBARDI, CLAUDIO;QUAGLIA, Rocco;IOTTI, NATHALIE OPHELIA
2015

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.
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http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01227/full
Child art; Children's drawings; Early childhood representation; Infant behavior; Scribbling;
Longobardi, Claudio; Quaglia, Rocco; Iotti, Nathalie O.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1579310
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