The meaning of children’s drawings

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Before being able to do other things, sometimes even before starting to speak well, your child will draw if you give him a piece of paper and a pencil…or at least, he will scribble something…

You need to know that scribbling, if it’s about small children (2-3 years old), represent the way in which your child expresses his fear, his doubts and his joy. He expresses his instincts, in their purest form. The drawings of the little one are a gold mine for the mother, if she knows to understand them, because they mean much more then her baby can say through words.

The scribbling made by your 2-3 years old child

At this age, sometimes, the child draws circles, long or diagonal lines, which apparently do not express anything. Roselin Davido, psychologist and specialist in children’s drawings, the author of the book ‘Child drawings’ (l’Archipel Publishing, 1998), says that the scribbling are a mandatory step in child’s development.

‘The circles drawn by the little one represent him. You will notice that he will prefer to use the most common color: the girls will choose pink and the boys -blue. The children transpose the reality they perceive in their drawings and this is very good. If you want to reveal the secrets of their drawing, first you have to analyze if it has a meaning of its own, some kind of balance. This balance consists sometimes in a simple draw realized in the middle of a page, who expresses: ‘I’m the center of the Universe!’ fact that is perfectly true’, says Roselin Davido.

Works of “art” (made by 5 years old children)

At this age, children are interested to project their own image in their drawings, or the thing they are most interested in. If the boys will be preoccupied to draw their father’s car, the little girls won’t forget to outline the earrings or the bracelet of their mother.

‘Characteristic in this age is that the little one will quit his drawing immediately, if he fails or if his drawing doesn’t match to his perception on objects. Accept this waste of paper’, explains Roselin Davido.

‘It is a way in which the child exercises his perseverance, ambition, the desire to succeed. The drawings represent a goal at this age and sometimes they express frustration. A 5 years old boy was always drawing rockets. In the drawings, his little brother was the leader, representing the rocket itself,’ says Roselin Davido.

On the other hand, the child will reflect in his drawings his desires or the things that bother him. ‘A little girl was always drawing faces with two visible yellow teeth. The little one was having problems with her teeth and this was a cause of stress for her,’ tells Roselin Davido.

True drawings (6 years old children)

After 6 years, the child will discover the fantastic world of his drawings. And if he was stimulated to do it, then it’s even better. The child is able to transpose the movement, the drawings are not static anymore; it’s about compositions and complex images.

‘Often, the child will express in his drawings facts that have a strong meaning for him, which happened recently: a circus show, a visit to the zoo, a trip to grandparents. At this age children love to draw houses – it is a different representation of their persons, of their universe, of the place where they are always protected and defended- trees and always- a big and very brilliant sun. The trees and the sun also represent the good, the optimism and innocence of a 6-7 years old child, who is free of worries, loved and cared,’ explains Davido.

On the other hand, at this age occur violent scenes, if those were lived at home or on the street or seen on TV. ‘The parents can easily understand the drawings by talking with the little one about the meaning of the drawing; they can find important details and change something. For example, a 6 years old girl was always drawing little girls who were walking on the street, very ruffled. Her mother found out this way that the girl’s teacher wasn’t standing her and that she always ruffled her’, tells the psychologist Roselin Davido.


– Never ignore the drawings of your child;

– Support him to draw, because it is a useful, complex and complete way of expressing his feelings;

– Don’t hesitate to ask the advice of an expert if something from your child’s drawings is different. It’s better to exaggerate instead of ignoring essential issues;

– Talk to your child about his drawings. You’ll learn new things about your baby;

– Ask him what he drew; join the game next to him and you’ll be amazed about his fantastic world.


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