Drawing Play

A Content Analysis of Children’s Drawings of Places Where They Like to Play


  • Sarah Barriage
  • Darcey K. deSouza
  • Shoshana Zitter
  • Chethan Sarabu


arts-based research methods, children, content analysis, drawings, play


This study sought to understand where children like to play using arts-based methods. Participants were recruited from a large US medical clinic serving a predominantly Latinx and low-income urban area. While waiting to see the doctor for a well-child visit, 19 6- to 12-year-old children were given drawing materials and asked to draw the places where they like to play. We conducted a descriptive content analysis of identifiable elements in the drawings, followed by an interpretive analysis of locations, social relationships, and activities. Children’s drawings predominantly depicted outdoor environments and physical activities. Few drawings depicted children playing with others.