A father and his daughter drawing together

Can Drawing Improve Your Child’s Memory?

Art provides a fun way for you and your child to express your creativity and individuality, and it can also be used as a great tool for improving memory. You can both use art to sharpen your memorization skills by imitating what you see, using a process known as “conceptual visualization.”

For example, when an artist paints a flower that she picked from her garden, she will not simply paint the flower. Instead, she will study the small details of the flower, visually absorbing everything she is seeing. As she observes and replicates characteristics such as color and shape, she is practicing conceptual visualization. Paying close attention to the small details of your surroundings allows for better memory retention while fostering a greater understanding of the world around you.

Can Drawing Improve Your Child’s Memory?

Memory Retention Art Activity

Practice conceptual visualization using this fun art activity for kids! Take your child for a walk in a park or your neighborhood. While on your walk, point out interesting things around you. Is there an unusual tree, a silly squirrel or a beautiful flower growing? Ask your child about the small details of the flower you see. What colors do you see? What shapes are the petals? Is the flower growing up to the sky or leaning toward that big oak tree? If possible, take a picture of the object you are observing.

After your walk, have your child use a sketch pad, crayons and pencils to draw the object (and make a sketch of your own, as well!). As she draws, encourage her to make observations by asking questions, such as, “What shape do you see in the center of the flower?” or making statements about your own drawing (i.e. “I am drawing the ladybug that is crawling on the stem.”).

Once you and your child have finished sketching, compare the similarities and differences in both of your drawings. Talk about some of the details your little one noticed that you did not see and vice versa. You can also show your child the picture that you took of the object and compare it to your pieces of artwork.

Art Tip: Allow your child to use several different art materials at once, such as markers, pens, pencils and crayons. Children often use several types of materials to express one idea. Limiting their tools can also limit how they choose to express themselves.