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I think that the pictures and figurines likely had a ritual purpose or some other cultural significance. They may have been used as teaching tools, but I feel like that is less likely, especially in examples like the lion man statue. As mentioned in the lecture, prehistoric art wasn’t just art for the sake of art, it had a purpose, and I think that many of the pictures and figurines were made to help with things those cultures valued. The Venus of Willendorf, for example, was probably made to aid fertility, while the cave paintings may have been to help bring more animals around and help with successful hunting.
I also think the idea that some of these objects/paintings were used for communication is also likely as there was no written language at the time. The cave paintings could have been to indicate that there are lots of animals in the area or that that certain group of people were particular good at hunting. This would make sense because early written languages are basically simplified pictures, so these images could be the beginnings of that.