Everyone from 9 months to 99 years old is finger swiping these days, and our little ones are growing up in a society that much prefers technology to tradition. Art has gone digital in many ways, but there is still much value to be found in drawing with pen and paper.
Drawing the old-fashioned way is a great platform for developing your children’s problem solving skills (How can I create an image to represent what I am thinking about?) and improving their fine motor skills. The opportunity to express themselves through their art also helps them become more self-aware of their thoughts and feel more confident about bringing what’s inside of them out into the open.
While most children enjoy art and crafts to some degree, not all may find drawing as interesting or gratifying as kicking a ball in the field. We asked the experts at HeART Studio to share ways parents can create a conducive environment for their children to fall in love with the art of drawing.
1. Give the lots of time and opportunity to draw
Give children lots of opportunities to draw freely, without pressure or direction. Sometimes, children may shy away from drawing because they are worried that they cannot ‘do it right’, so be mindful not to expect your children to draw a certain way (e.g. all animals must have four legs). Instead, let them have the space to experiment, draw what they want, and make mistakes. Make it about the process, not the product.
2. Offer a range of drawing mediums
Not all drawing needs to be done with a pen/pencil/crayons/markers and paper. Try using soft chalk pastels, charcoal, watercolour paint, puffy paint and so on. And instead of paper, try drawing on paper napkins, foil, cardboard, glass, wood, balloons, and even skin!
See also: How to make a pretty paper wreath
3. Offer interesting subjects to draw
Let them choose something that relates to them. If you have a LEGO lover in the house, arrange a LEGO scene and ask your child to draw it. Or bring children on a sketch walk around town and ask them to draw anything interesting that captures that eye. The supermarket is a great place for them to gain inspiration for their art as well. Our local library is another great place to take in many of the sights, sounds and resources required. Museums, events and festivals are also a wonderful way to encourage artistic growth and development.
4. Find meaningful reasons to draw
Purposeful art brings a depth of meaning that mere aimless doodling or scribbling. Give your children a reason to draw, for instance:
- Send a letter or birthday card to a family member
- Draw their own postcards
- Draw a list of things they would like for their birthday or Christmas
- Write and illustrate a book or comic strip together
- Create a sheet of wrapping paper for a present
Give your children a crayon or pen, and allow them the space to explore their creativity and express themselves through drawing. Set the example yourself, by making drawing a part of your everyday life, and setting aside time to draw together with your children.
By Dorothea Chow
This is part of The New Age Parents “How To Raise A Child” series. Read other parts of the series here:
How To Raise A Child Who Loves Nature
How To Raise A Child Who Loves Reading
How To Raise A Child Who Loves Writing
How To Raise A Child Who Loves School
How To Raise A Child Who Loves Their Sibling
How To Raise A Child Who Loves Learning
How To Raise A Child Who Loves To Eat Nutritious Food