Integrate the theory of kids’ mental development and that of a few kids’ psychology, and match-up the experience and observation in the teaching of art; we can then differentiate it in the different levels and periods for teaching reference.
1. Scrawling period – one and half years old until four years old
For kids at this age, drawing is a kind of joints and muscles exercise when they find that this exercise can produce ‘something’ and produce ‘amusing’ and ‘interesting’ in kids’ psychology. So, the drawing works during this period. We can only observe the ‘amusing’ and ‘interesting’ in the kid’s psychology. It will not create ‘shapes’ and ‘appearances’. In using different materials and colors, this will also create new feelings in the kid.
2. Initial Symbolize Expression period – Four to five years old
In this level, the kids will be able to use simple symbols and lines to compound a ‘shape’ but this is only limited to individual drawings. They still do not have the ability to join perfectly.
3. Later Symbolize Expression period – Five to seven years old
Kids have the basic concept of ‘shapes’ and ‘colors’. They are able to differentiate and choose. Arbitrary idea formation is getting stronger, creativity also improves. In this period, guidance of art is very important to the kids’ future development. If a wrong method is used, this can lead to dependency, lost imagination and spontaneity, lost confidence and formulized drawing methods.
4. Initial Arbitrary Expression period – Seven to eight years old
Kids draw their experience, impressions and concept on paper through memory using symbolize methods. In this period, kids try composition and joining ability. In this period, the kid’s drawing is full of charm and creativity. This is the period of “Draw known, don’t draw seen”.
5. Later Arbitrary Expression period – Eight to ten years old
Kids have integration ability. Observation and color sense is stronger. They start to be able to imitate and appreciate and start to value the importance of ‘shapes’ expression.
6. Impersonal realistic painting period – Ten to thirteen years old
Rational period. Self-demand increases. They are looking for eyes and hands balance. In this period many kids will give up because strength is not matched with ambitions. So, the basics and concepts of art need to start to inculcate.
7. Control period – Thirteen to sixteen years old
In this period, interests change according to their age. Creativity will lie low or cease.
8. Art Reappear period – Sixteen and above
In certain circumstances, if cell of art is awakening, art will revive. Creative ability will be stronger due to the maturing thoughts; this will change the past attitude towards drawing.
The above summarizes a kid’s mental development stage. This is only a reference for teachers when guiding kids drawing and is not the absolute. On the other hand, sometimes it may be the opposite, depending on the situation.