Unleashing Creativity: How free drawing sparks young minds in Aotearoa


Picture this: a kōtiro lost in their own world, a crayon clutched in their hand, drawing swirling galaxies onto a fresh sheet of paper. It's a sight etched with pure imagination, where creativity takes flight on wings of Kiwi ingenuity. Free drawing, eh? It's more than just doodling – it's a messy, exhilarating adventure where learning flourishes, free from rules and restrictions. It's about exploring feelings, flexing those creative problem-solving muscles, and even building language skills, all under the wide-open sky of imagination.

Each of these threads weaves into the rich tapestry of a child's creative potential. In this blog, we'll unravel how emotional expression, brainy challenges, and kōrero all intertwine within the world of free drawing, nurturing their imaginative and expressive superpowers. Let's delve into this colourful playground and see how free drawing shapes the journey of young Kiwi minds.

Creativity & Innovation: Sketching Out a Bright Future

Before we dive in, let's acknowledge the magnitude that creative drawing is for a child's growth. Think of it as the koru unfurling – with each scribble and swirl, their imagination blossoms. When a child picks up a drawing tool, they set sail on an imaginative voyage, where a blank page becomes a universe of endless possibilities. They experiment with taniwha-sized creatures, unique patterns across the sky, and stories whispered by the landscape – pushing the boundaries of their what-ifs and could-bes. This act of creation is pure innovation, as they mix and match, forming original ideas and tales that are uniquely their own. This creative spark equips them to become adaptable artists and problem-solvers, ready to paint the world with their unique Kiwi flair.

Creative Problem-Solving

While the link between artistic expression and creativity is clear, drawing and storytelling have even deeper benefits that go beyond what shows up on paper – they're like a trigger for creative problem-solving. Through their artistic endeavours, tamariki learn to embrace divergent thinking, exploring a whole plethora of solutions to the challenges they face.

Imagine a little one trying to depict something invisible like the wind or their feelings, or telling a story from the perspective of a tuatara. Whether it's figuring out how to show a bustling marae with just a few colours or expressing a narrative within the frame of a single page, these challenges demand innovative thinking and a good dose of creative problem-solving.

Language Development: Spinning Yarns and Spreading Wings

When it comes to language development, drawing becomes a magical way for tamariki to tell their stories while they are still learning to weave their way to developed conversations. As they create and share their drawings, they're encouraged to turn their pictures into words, slowly expanding their vocabulary and building confidence in expressing themselves. This process also nurtures storytelling skills, as they learn to craft and share narratives around their artwork with their buddies. By describing what they've drawn, they practice using language in an imaginative way, connecting words to both abstract and concrete concepts captured in their art. This interaction not only sharpens their own tongues but also strengthens their listening skills and ability to understand and respond to others' perspectives.

Emotional Understanding: Drawing Out What Words Can't Say

For young tamariki, who might find it tricky to put complex thoughts and emotions into words, drawing becomes a vehicle to silently express themselves. This process, far more than just creating images, is a pathway for them to transform feelings into visual narratives, boosting their emotional intelligence and self-awareness. Scenes of whānau and nature might be bursting with joy and security, while a stormy seascape could hint at worry or confusion. Through this visual expression, tamariki develop a better understanding of their own emotions, making them more emotionally literate. This aspect of drawing not only aids in emotional self-expression but also fosters emotional intelligence, a crucial skill for personal growth and navigating the complexities of whānau and whanaungatanga.

Kia Kaha, Young Creatives!

In their artistic adventures, tamariki learn not only to express and understand their emotions but also to think like a tohunga of creativity and solve problems with the cunning of a kiwi. Can you recall a time in your own childhood when drawing opened a door to a new world of imagination? Each stroke of colour and each line drawn is a step towards developing their unique voice and perspective.

The skills gained through free drawing – be it in weaving a story, depicting complex emotions, or simply experimenting with different shapes – are treasure that tamariki carry with them into adulthood. Encouraging them to engage in free drawing is to empower them to explore, imagine, and grow in a culture that is engaged with creativity and expression. 

We love the idea of providing the canvas, the colours, and the freedom for our young artists to flourish, as they paint their paths to a bright and imaginative future.