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Challenge Drawing in Action :: Not What I Expected

by Jean Van't Hul
July 30, 2010

Challenge Drawing for Kids

I’ve been meaning to put together a basket of challenge drawing papers for Maia and finally did.

This is something MaryAnn Kohl recommended when we were doing the hole drawings. She suggested making a bunch of different hole and other “challenge” papers for Maia to choose from when she wanted to draw (in addition to our basket of plain paper).

Challenge Drawing for Kids

Challenge Drawing Ideas for Kids

So here’s the current selection that is going in the basket.

I used both plain white sulfite paper and colored construction paper in various combinations.

Some of the papers have holes, some have paper shapes glued on top. Some are white on white, some are two colors. Most are rectangular, some have a new contour.

Challenge Drawing for Kids

The idea is that the hole, shape, or different format will inspire the child in a way that a plain piece of paper wouldn’t and that the drawing might play off of the hole or shape.

Challenge Drawing Ideas for Kids

Maia was excited to give this a try and chose this paper with a white shape pasted on for her first drawing.

Challenge Drawing for Kids

She drew a tree, with branches.

And then she sought out the reverse of the same shape, and made…

Challenge Drawing Ideas for Kids

…another tree.

Both drawings have grass, blue sky, a yellow sun, and a swing.

Make Challenge Drawing Papers for Kids I have to say it wasn’t quite what I expected when I introduced this challenge drawing activity.

I think I was expecting some hugely creative use of the paper and the shape. Certainly not two of the same thing, both with the same depictions of everyday trees, grass, suns, and blue sky that every child draws.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

A.) I could have been more careful to avoid a shape that looked so much like something (in this case a tree).

B.) I don’t really know what I want to say for B. Something along the lines of—do all children go through this stage where they need to use the same symbols for things? Such as green zigzags or lines at the very bottom of the page for grass? And a line of blue across the top for the sky?

There should probably be a C. too. Maybe something like, these are great drawings for a four year old and I should get off my “creative” high horse!

Oh, and D. Sometimes children just want to draw trees (and swings) and they learn best with repetition.

Read our challenge drawing update here.

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