Below is a video of a child scribbling. However, she’s not just scribbling. The video shows how intent and purposeful this child was in each and every scribble. If you watch closely, you can see how much she put on the paper, that she worked on the piece for an extended period of time, and that the marks are contained in the same areas. Then, she noticed that she can make long marks from as long as she can reach over the table! In the background of the video, you can see another child drawing on the easel. Essentially, this video shows the children’s recognition of the process and product.

According to Sandra Crosser: Intellectually, toddlers are concerned with both the process and results of their art. They do not intend to represent objects at first. Instead, they are concerned with color and line. However, they may look at the marks and scribbles they have made and, in surprise, recognize a shape and name it. While they may not have intended to draw a dog or tree, the scribbles suggest the shapes. Children interpret, rather than intend. This is called fortuitous realism and becomes common as a child approaches three years.

“The children look at a mark or scribble and in surprise recognize a shape.  They interpret, rather than intend.  The paintings look like scribbles to adults, but the process takes a long time, they are so focused, and then when they are done the paintings “remind” them of some thing and they interpret what they made and what it reminds them of.”


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