Drawing isn't just child's play

Rachel's dream is to be a teacher and help kids learnMy wife and I can’t really draw. Our talents are elsewhere – mine with written words, hers with music. We enjoyed drawing at a young age, but our abilities didn’t keep up with our age.  

So when our kids learned to draw, we sought help, buying these great books on how to draw. We practiced as a family for hours, hoping to give our kids a life-long skill they would appreciate more than we had. So far, it’s working. They both enjoy drawing and often use their free time honing their craft.

Drawing helps kids visualize more complex ideas. It’s why today’s school work often includes an artistic aspect.

My sixth-grade son recently drew pictures to represent several abstract terms, like technology and science. It was a way for him to better understand – visually and artistically – ideas that don’t often have an obvious image associated with them.

It got me thinking about how as adults, we don’t do enough drawing and visualization in our day-to-day lives. I think if we did, it would make a positive difference in solving complex problems. 

Take dreams, for example. For many, it’s something hard to grasp visually. It’s also very personal, so talking about dreams makes some of uncomfortable.

Would drawing pictures help? I think so.

Give it a try sometime. Get your family or close friends involved. You’d be surprised at how – even if (like me) you’re not a talented artist – you’ll learn more about your hopes and dreams by drawing them.  

If you need some inspiration, check out the American Family Insurance Draw Your Dreams contest. We’ve invited kids (13 and under) to share their dreams with us – in a visual way. Like Rachel’s dream of being a teacher and helping kids learn, which I’ve included with my blog post. These pictures will take you back to those grade school days when drawing played such an important part of learning.

Maybe it’s time my wife and I did our homework – and got out those how-to-draw books.

Editor's note: The American Family Insurance Draw Your Dreams contest runs through Oct. 28, 2012. Help your kids enter by visiting www.amfam.com/draw_your_dream. Entries must be postmarked by Oct. 28.  

by Tom Buchheim on Mon, Oct 22 2012 11:03 am
Posted by Tom Buchheim on Mon, Oct 22 2012 11:03 am


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