For example, when planning activities for the new term, educator can ask children to draw “Fun things you would like to do in preschool”.
Before starting, educator can tell the children that it is important that they enjoy preschool and they get to do things they like and want to learn about! Therefore, it is valuable to find out the children’s true interests and opinions. After the drawings are ready, educator can sit down with each child and have a chat of what is in the drawing and use the drawings as a base for future planning.
Children’s drawings are rich descriptions of the world perceived by them. Generally, drawing is a natural way for children to tell about their experiences, themselves and the world around them. In case talking about some topic is difficult, telling about own feelings in a form of a drawing might be easier. While drawing, children have time to think and they can also add or edit little details later on.
Drawings have different meanings depending on the situation. The situation has an effect on the contents of the drawing. Also, given instructions have an effect on the drawing. Children’s imagination, drawing skills, self-criticality and level of interest affect as much. It is also worth pointing out that not all children like to draw. So a drawing does not tell the whole truth, but is a part of it.
Anyway, drawing is a good method to be used to find out children’s opinions about a certain topic. It is good to pay attention to the process of drawing, what happens before, during and after drawing. You can discuss about the drawing when it is ready – try not to lead the child but let him tell in his own words what is happening in it.
(References: Piia Roos. 2016. Mitä kuuluu? Lapsen kertomukset ja osallisuus päiväkotiarjessa.)