The secret power of unstructured play


I was getting ready to go for the next story session. That is when, I heard a child calling my name from one end of the corridor “Sowmya Ma’am come here fast… fast”.  I rushed to the classroom, all the children were getting ready for their freehand drawing and painting time. They are ready with their drawing tools, palettes, smocks, and their favourite colours. The child who called me was super excited to show me his hand print full of his favourite colours.

He was very much excited about that work and so proud of it, I doubt even I might not be as proud of my achievements as him. In that same classroom, I saw various budding artists who were very much involved and engrossed with their painting tools. One child carefully used the green colour all over the chart when I asked him what he was drawing, he answered, “It’s a forest”. These hues and colours, vibrance speaks volumes about their world of innocence, imagination, uniqueness and state of mind.

This kind of unrestricted exploration helps children form connections in their brain, it helps them learn—and it’s also fun. Art is a natural activity to support this free play in children. The freedom to manipulate different materials in an organic and unstructured way allows for exploration and experimentation.

So next time you see a child scribbling with a marker or splattering paint onto a paper, stop, admire, and praise his or her work. Who knows, your words of encouragement may inspire a future artist.

Happy drawing and doodling!