How to Encourage Children to Draw

If you'd like to know how to encourage children to draw, read on.

One of my all time favourite art activities combines both books and drawing together.

It's a very simple activity but one which is very rewarding.

How To Encourage Your Child to Draw

Basically, we choose a picture, or photo, from a book and then look at drawing it.

Yes, You Can Draw!

At first this may seem very daunting - for both children and adults alike. However, it's important to stress that it's the PROCESS that counts, not the end result.

I've often found that when presented with a piece of paper, children may say, "I can't draw that!"

However, they soon discover they can draw when they start looking at an object and working with basic shapes.

Start With Basic Shapes

Before starting to draw, we look at the shapes we can see - squares, ovals, triangles, circles, etc.

By breaking the drawing down into simple shapes, the task of drawing is made so much easier.

For example, is the body of the creature you want to draw a sort of oval shape? Squarish shape? Retangular?

Once the body has been drawn, it's simply a matter of adding extra body parts - head, legs, etc., (again, with simple shapes). Finally, add finer details such as whiskers, ears, eyes, etc.

Offer Plenty of Encouragement and Praise

Sometimes, the art of drawing is more about one's confidence to try than one's ability to actually draw.

It's the fear of failure that often stops us trying in the first place.

When children have support and are told they can do something, they will often rise to the challenge, surprising themselves as well as you!

Examples of Drawings

Here are a couple examples of work created by our 4.6 yr old.

We started with a photo he chose. (I admit this photo isn't exactly the most glamorous. There probably aren't too many paintings adorning the walls of our homes depicting an eagle eating a dead kangaroo.)

However, this was the photo he chose to draw ...

How To Encourage Your Child to Draw

... and this is the resulting drawing.

How To Encourage Your Child to Draw

Of course, as his Mum, I'm very biased and think that this drawing is terrific. You can see the basic shape he started with was a circle. After that he added on the details.

Here's an example of a fictional character from one of the easy readers we enjoy reading, Monster and Frog Get Fit, written by Rose Impey and illustrated by Russell Ayto.

How To Encourage Your Child to Draw

Once again, we started by looking at the basic shapes involved. David drew a huge circle for the head and added on a smaller rectangle for the body.

How To Encourage Your Child to Draw

With a little encouragement, he looked at the different shapes of Monster's horns, tail, etc. and added them to his drawing.

Drawing from pictures or photos is a fantastic way to:

  • Help children look at shapes, lines, colours, textures, patterns
  • Build self-esteem and confidence
  • Strengthen fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination
  • Foster creativity
  • Experience the joy found in the process of creating

I sincerely hope that you'll give drawing from photos or pictures a try with your child if you've not already done so. It can be heaps of fun.

I'd love to hear how you go.

You may also like these activities:

Doodle Dice
Doodle Dice
Scribblely Paintings
Scribblely Paintings

Return to the Articles List for other children's learning activities or children's book reviews.

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