The information below can really help those of any age, not just little ones. In my experience, everyone I meet who isn’t already a professional creative in some capacity and whom feels comfortable enough to share, make comments like “I could never draw”, “My parents/friends/teachers always made fun of my art so I stopped”, “I was never shown how”, “After about 7 or 8 years old we were told it wasn’t important so I stopped”, and most commonly; “I wish I could do that!”. But the important thing to remember is that it is a skill, and like most skills, needs time. More than anything we just need to allow our children the time they need, encourage them, and above all, if they are not interested, don’t push them.
So, here we go!
1. Give them paper and pencils.
This is the easiest one. Every child loves to make a mark on paper!
2. Draw with them. By watching you draw they begin to learn how to hold a pencil, how to make shapes, and how to control what they’re drawing.
3. Show them the basics. Lines, shapes, dots, gentle strokes/pressure, a snowman… See what unfolds.
4. Encourage them. Help them see that with practice they can do anything! I’ve also found that spending time doing activities to develop their fine motor skills will help tremendously when drawing. For one of my children, that was simply practicing tying hair ties in her dolls hair !
5. Learn along side them. If you feel you’re not “good enough” to show them how to draw, head to the library or book shop and grab a simple “how to draw” book and learn with them! Kids love the animal drawing books.
6. Show them they can draw anything they see, or imagine, or both!
7. Don’t pressure them (Give it time).
8. Avoid negative or harsh remarks. To you, it may not look like anything but if you take the time to watch them draw it you may just see the horse as they draw it! By using positive encouragement you will lift instead of squashing their learning & expressive experience.
9. Provide a creativity corner or desk. I did this by taking a standard, two drawer desk and filling it with paper, Coloured paper, pencils, pens, markers, scissors, glue, stickers, glitter, craft sticks, a watercolor set, and more. Supervise where necessary 😉
11. Take them to see and experience art and artists.
12. Join a drawing group or club.
Good luck and comment on your child’s progress 🙂