Encouraging children to draw from a young age has many benefits. Not only can it give them the opportunity to express themselves in ways they may not be able to with words, but it can also help them assert their abilities and build confidence in the world around them. Learning to hold a pencil helps strengthen hand muscles, and improves grip and other motor skills; which gives them a head start when they come to writing letters and words. There are lots of creative ways to get your little ones to draw and reap the benefits it brings.
Say it with pictures
The simple act of displaying your child’s drawings around your home can instill in them how much you love them and value their efforts. Try putting their pictures up in every room in the house, especially in their room alongside their regular posters, as this demonstrates that their drawings have as much worth to the family as any commercial cartoons or artwork. Arrange a mix of art that they have done at home as well as those brought home from nursery or preschool.
Gift their art
Get your children to design and draw all gift cards that you give out. Keep a pile of card paper handy and simply help them fold it before they begin decorating it. Recipients will really appreciate the personal effort put into their card, and the children will thrive off the praise they receive when they gift the. You can also encourage kids to draw their own gift wrap paper, this is great for little ones that are just starting out and love to get messy!
Portraits of people and pets
Support your kids to draw a self-portrait by using a mirror. You can also take turns sitting for portraits with each other. Drawing portraits of pets is also great fun. Once your child is finished with their picture, you can help them make a frame for it. Cut out some card or paper and give it to them to color and decorate, then just glue it around the edges of their drawing. Make sure to proudly display it in a prominent place in your home.
Head to the great outdoors
Enjoy a day out to practice drawing landscapes. Make a proper day of it by packing a picnic. Paints can be a bit messy when you are outside and not easily able to access a sink to clean up, so stick with pencils. Try your best not to drop them as the graphite inside may crack. A handheld, manual, or electric sharpener can help reduce them breaking off as you sharpen them. Relaxing through drawing and spending time outdoors can be beneficial for you and your children’s health.
Trace and draw like a grown up
Tracing is a great activity for young children as it can help improve their hand-eye coordination. You don’t need real tracing paper, just ask your child to choose some of their favorite cartoon characters and draw them in thick black felt-tip pen on plain white paper. Lay a clean sheet of paper over the top and give it to your children to copy under a good light.
Tell a story (board)
Together with your child, draw a few boxes on paper as your storyboard template. One box represents a frame in your story. Draw in each box the unfolding scenes of your plot. If you both want, draw a few lines underneath each box for accompanying text. Take the lead the first time, to show your child how it’s done, and then let them take over and make up the story themselves.
Drawing is a fundamental part of a child’s development. Motivating children to pick up a pencil instead of spending time on devices or in front of the television, can give them the best start to their education and help them express themselves doing something they enjoy.