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Early drawings - including examples of inventories


Tudor (3 years, 6 months), drew a lot of

vertical lines. Then, taking a thicker felt tip

pen he drew over and over on the same 

part of the paper, pressing so hard that he

made a hole in the paper.

    Seeing what he'd done, he announced,

"Like a lion". Perhaps it was his (fierce?)

actions that suggested a lion to him, or

was it the shape of the hole he'd made?

Megan (4 years,  5 months) explained that

she had been on a "very big, fast roller-coaster"

at the weekend.

      Containing both spatial and temporal

qualities, this may be understood as both

drawing, and a map indicating the route that

the roller-coaster took.




Three-year-old Tore was drawing excitedly

at the whiteboard, explaining his marks as

a "shark". It seemed possible that his marks

suggested the rapid movement of a shark

through (or vigorously thrashing in) the

water. Perhaps the dots and short vertical

lines suggested 'teeth', although without

further explanation of course we cannot know.


Hamzah drew a row of circles (as wheels) to signify 'cars'. It was only towards the end of his drawing

that he added the two black wheels beneath the 

brown circles. Finally, lower down he drew the

rectangular shape, and pointing to the black dot inside it, explained "driving wheel".


Hamzah's drawings are both inventories of features 

he'd especially noticed.


In his second drawing on the same day, Hamzah

divided the internal space of the car for seats, explaining where various members of his family

sit in the car. The black dot (lower right) inside

the car is again, the '"steering wheel".


Ayaan referred to her rapidly drawn

lines as a cat. Perhaps she was thinking

of a cat's whiskers?




Pointing to the various elements of his drawing,

Max (4 years, 9 months) itemised them: "A man

holding a flag and a dinosaur with a hammer in

his back-pack and a mummy dinosaur with a bigger back-pack."


Max's drawing is another example of an inventory.

Shereen (AGE) was ouside in the garden. She

drew zigzagging stairs, the faces of two girls (one

that she designated "a princess'" Her drawing

developed into complex picture with a block of

flats, a car and an elephant.



Shereen's drawing may also be understood as an inventory.





Oliver had written a birthday party invitation. 

'Reading' his graphics he explained, "This is

all the things. This is the oven [two squares

with a row of dots at the top of one], where

the cakes are going in and they are already 

in and the party is starting in a minute. The

people [pointing to his drawing of one person,

top right]. Lights, party lights on the roof.

1 o'clock - now!"


Oliver's party 'inventory'.

At home Shereen was drawing, telling her

mum, that she had drawn a house: she

explained that it was surrounded by many

things: ‘I was climbing up the stairs and I

looked out the window, I saw a butterfly,

ladybird, snails, flowers, mountain and

a dog eating its food."


Shereen's drawing is also an inventory of items she decided to draw.