Drawing helps with children's development of fine motor skills as they learn to control their finger grip and movement. Don't worry too much about what they draw, the more scribbles the better!

Why do it?

Drawing is a good chance for tamariki to:

  • be creative and express themselves
  • try out a variety of drawing materials and techniques
  • grow their skills and confidence in drawing through practice — repetition of actions strengthens pathways in their brain
  • strengthen the fine muscles in their hands and fingers, which will help them when they start writing letters and numbers.

How to do it

How to do it — Te tikanga mō tēnei mahi

  • Set up an area so that their drawing stays off surfaces you don’t want drawn on. Maybe they could use a table that’s wipe-able, or protect the table with a plastic mat. They could also draw on a sheet of newsprint or newspaper taped to the table or the floor.
  • Have a range of things that they can draw on: cardboard, concrete, opened-out boxes, smooth stones, wood, or in the sand at the beach.
  • Draw with pencils, crayons, pastels, felts, chalk, sticks or with stones to make marks.
  • At the beach, draw in the sand with hands, sticks, shells and stones. Add seaweed and other things you find to make patterns or shapes.
  • With crayons, pastels or chalk, draw with the ends and with the sides to get different effects.
  • Drawings using crayons and pastels, which are greasy, can be painted over with diluted food colouring for interesting effects.
  • Encourage them to experiment with mixing media — for example, using crayons or pastels with felts or gluing collage materials to a picture they’ve drawn.
  • Display their drawings on the fridge with magnets.
  • Turn their drawings into presents such as cards or calendars, or use them as gift wrapping paper.
  • Try to remember that drawing is more about the process of doing it rather than the finished product.

Other ideas — Ētahi atu whakaaro

  • Use open-ended questions like ‘What else would you like to try?’ or ‘What else could you add?’
  • Notice and talk about the colours they’ve used, and the lines and shapes.
  • They may tell you what the drawing is or they may not. Does it really matter?
  • If they’re drawing a person, you could use a mirror to help them to notice their own face and body for ideas about what to draw.
  • Put textured things like leaves or coins under paper and make ‘rubbings’ with the sides of crayons, chalks or pastels.
  • Experiment with textured paper or card — for example, corrugated paper or cardboard.
  • Have some different coloured paper — black is interesting.
  • Try drawing with the other hand, or holding the felt in your mouth or using a foot.
  • Hold two felt pens together when drawing to see what happens.
  • Draw some patterns and talk about different patterns you might see at home or when you’re out and about.

Using more reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Pepa kakano Coloured paper
Felt tip pen
Pepa Kirihimete Christmas paper
Pepa rā whānau Birthday paper
Strip of paper
Rākau ine, rūri Ruler
He rārangi hāngai A straight line
Tapahia te pepa hei ngaku Cut the paper into strips
To staple together
(a) To join
To experiment
Kātahi te pikitia ātaahua! What a beautiful picture!
Whakamātauhia tētahi kakano hou Try a new colour