Drawing for Kids :: Encouraging the Reluctant Artist
Drawing for Kids - Doodling and coloring

Drawing for Kids: Encouraging the Reluctant Artist

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Drawing for Kids - What to do when children are reluctant to draw

When I asked for your questions and problems in a recent newsletter, several people emailed asking me about drawing for kids and specifically on how to encourage the reluctant artist.

There are two sides to this issue.

Some kids just don’t seem that into art, especially drawing and painting. If you have one of these kids, my post on “What to Do When My Child Hates Art” might be helpful.

But sometimes, a child does like to draw and paint but gets frustrated with their skill level and/or compares their work to that of a sibling or adult or even to their own vision. And that frustration can lead them to say that they can’t draw and can lead them to avoid drawing.

I have a few ideas on how to deal with this second issue…

I love this!!

A photo posted by Jean Van’t Hul | Artful Parent (@jeanvanthul) on

Drawing for Kids :: Encouraging the Reluctant Artist

First, please don’t ever let your child hear you say that you can’t draw or that you’re not creative. These kids of ours learn so much from us!

Second, try to make drawing fun and lighthearted. Play art games where the focus is on connection and on drawing for the fun of it.

Drawing for Kids - Playing Art Games to Encourage the Reluctant Artist

Here are some drawing games you can try ::

  • Back-and-forth drawing for kids
  • The quiet-time art game
  • Simon Says drawing
  • Combination man
  • Scribble challenge drawings

Drawing for Kids - Doodling and coloring

Some other drawing activities to consider that are more about the process and less about the finished product are ::

Drawing for Kids - Recommended Books on How to Draw

If the child seems to want it, consider teaching some drawing skills or use a how to draw book. I like these two ::

You can also move away from drawing altogether for a while and focus on other process-oriented art activities such as collage, action art, printmaking, suncatchers, clay and playdough modeling, toothpick construction, and photography.

Okay, my friends. I hope that helps!

If this brings up more questions for you about drawing for kids and encouraging the reluctant artist, please feel free to ask them in the comment section below!

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Drawing for Kids - How to Encourage the Reluctant Artist

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Gillian
    May 17, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    I am not that good at drawing (we can say this when the kids aren’t around, right?), but I feel much better about it when I compare my current art to my previous attempts. Maybe there’s a way to make a game of practicing and seeing improvement.

  • Reply
    Brigitte
    May 18, 2016 at 10:11 am

    I totally relate to this: “… But sometimes, a child does like to draw and paint but gets frustrated with their skill level and/or compares their work to that of a sibling or adult or even to their own vision. And that frustration can lead them to say that they can’t draw and can lead them to avoid drawing.” My 4.5 year old daughter is more this one than the first one. I’m an artist so I have to be very careful not to get too carried away around her as she gets disheartened when she can’t come up with something as good as mine and throws the paintbrush in the end. Sad but true. She still loves drawing and painting but yes, I do have to be a little careful. It doesn’t stop me encouraging.

  • Reply
    Juile
    May 19, 2016 at 8:36 am

    I wrote about what worked for my kid…
    https://www.fatbraintoys.com/play/2015/11/16/inviting_my_reluctant_son_to_do_art.cfm

    It had a lot to do with valuing the scribble.

  • Reply
    jumbootoys
    May 30, 2016 at 4:36 am

    Every child has their own creativity, just pull them in their interest, and i like the way child create their own new style in drawing.

  • Reply
    The Salty Mamas
    November 29, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Thank you so much for this list! My daughter LOVES art, but is extremely reluctant to draw, which is tricky when much of her kindergarten “homework” is drawing. Will be trying some of these tomorrow!

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