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Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  16 Jun 2018 11:30 PM GMT


Dr. Gayatri Bezboruah

Violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, red.....hey, it is so beautiful. As parents, we know how much our little ones enjoy painting and drawing. They dip in the brush, put it on paper, and hey presto, the effect is instant! Not only can the children see the effect their action has had, they learn that they can change what they have created by taking a second dip into the bottle of paint. It teaches our children that they can make things happen-a proud 'I can do it' feeling. They also learn to sit still and concentrate.

Our children first enjoy marking a page and scribbling around 12 months of age. They use crayons at that age and also enjoy eating them, so do keep an eye on them! At this age, they tend to use whole arm movements, use either hand and hold the crayon like a 'dagger.'

At around 2 years of age, toddlers will start to initiate strokes we make on paper: circular scribbles, down and across strokes. There is less scribbling and more use of lines. However, we need to remember that the activity is far more important than the end product.

When our kids are around 3 to 4 years old, most of them decide which hand they want to draw with, and begin holding the crayon with the fingers away from the palm. Their drawings will begin to take shape. We will slowly begin to see the family, a house, the sun or a tree. It could also be the pet or the favourite fruit or toy. They love to tell us about what they have drawn, although we may not be able to see it! Around 5 years, the pencil grip has improved and they will try to copy letters, shapes and numbers.

Painting is also an excellent way for children to explore at their own pace without feeling hurried by adults. It is also an very nice way for those children who feel they are clumsy and relatively unskilled to create a pleasing picture.

Be warned, though, that it could get rather messy, especially if a group of children are painting together! Have plenty of wipes at hand to wipe up!

There are different ways of painting with children. At first, they cannot use tools, so the best ones they have are their hands! They could start with sponge paintings, butterfly paintings with folded paper, or finger feather or free painting with brushes.


* Accept that there will be a mess and prepared for it!

* Find a place. Cover the painting surface with newspaper.

* Have a large sponge, plenty of paper towels and water ready for cleaning up!

* Select a flat drying space for the finished work.

* Put the paintings up on your wall and see their faces glow!

Dr Gayatri Bezboruah is Professor of Paediatrics, Gauhati Medical College, Guwahati. She can be reached at or

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