• Helping coordination and expression.
  • Aiding communication and memory.

About The Project

How do we understand what children feel and think? How might we help them to feel better? Most children love to draw, and their drawings can reveal their joys and fears. At Chichester we are developing a drawing archive of how children draw people, events and topics in their lives that they feel positively and negatively about.

We conduct research to examine how children use their favourite and least favourite colours to signal happiness and sadness towards a topic and how they may change their drawings depending on who they know will see them.


We are also developing projects to understand how children may experience mixed emotions and how these may feature in their drawings. The archive is a growing collection showing a variety of drawn topics.

As children’s drawings are used in a wide variety of setting as a basis to understand how children feel about the topics they draw we need to continue to develop our understanding of what children mean to communicate about their feelings to whom.

The website is also designed to raise awareness of the importance of children’s drawings past, present and future. It is a platform to think about the value of drawing to children and those interested in communicating with children around their drawings.

We aim to identify and articulate the benefits of drawing that accrue to children, to promote drawing as an important means of expression for children with respect to their hopes and concerns and to promote an ethical approach to analysing children’s drawings without assuming where possible what the children mean to show us. As the collection grows we hope that it will become a vehicle for continuing research into children’s drawings across disciplines. Ultimately we aim to get more children drawing!!!

This website contains resources to guide literature seraches about the influences on, and benefits of, children's drawings and activities for children to take part in. Viewers can contribute drawings to the existing collections for the themes of what children care about where they live and what they look forward to in their community and the world in general. The themes will expand as our research projects develop. For example, we are currently investigating how children draw and talk about the experience of mixed emotions.

We would like to thank the parents,  guardians, teachers and children who have paticpated in developing this archive and let us show the work.

News articles relating to childrens drawings:



To contact us, please email Dr Esther Burkitt (e.burkitt@chi.ac.uk) directly and see some of the research publications on her profile on the University of Chichester website.