Researchers found that mother-child discussion about essential and distinguishing features of the animals, and mothers’ specific instructions contributed to their child’s skill in drawing. Interestingly, children often incorporated features of their mother’s drawings into their own pictures. This finding highlights a source of learning that children may not have when drawing by themselves. Although some aspects of mother-child discussion (such as talking about essential features) seemed to influence children’s drawings, other interactions did not have an effect. For example, general discussion about adding more details and basic labels for pictures did not result in more sophisticated drawings, perhaps because children are unfamiliar with these ideas.
Another interesting finding was that children who were at a basic level of drawing, who drew mostly simple animals, were more likely to modify their drawings following mom’s advice than were more skilled artists. One explanation for this is that the more skilled children may have the cognitive and motor skills necessary to integrate features of another person’s drawing into their own drawings. They have already mastered the skills for drawing basic forms, and are ready to draw more complex features.
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