Age-wise Tips For Teaching Children How To Draw

Knowing how to draw not only encourages your child’s creativity but also teaches her to be more focussed. We give you exclusive tips on how to teach your child to draw.

By Parama Gupta

Age-wise Tips For Teaching Children How To Draw

Drawing is an integral part of most school curriculum. It boosts a child’s creativity and helps in his emotional development as well. If you want your child to excel in drawing at school and beyond, you can help him do so by introducing him to the world of drawing and colouring at a young age.

Here are a few tips to help your child master drawing skills at different stages of childhood:

  • For preschoolers

1. It is important to develop an interest towards drawing in your child at this stage. Engage her in unstructured drawing time every day. Do not try to correct her if she merely scrawls and scribbles. Children at this stage are not likely to understand and follow instructions well. It is important to make them feel that drawing is a fun activity rather than a serious one.

2. It is natural for your child to try to imitate you. Make your child sit along with you and show him how to draw very simple objects like a cat with big round eyes and a smile, simple stick human figures to resemble members of the family, and big fruit trees. This activity will not only fascinate him but also give you some precious bonding time with your child.

3. Give your preschooler crayons and coloured pencils to draw with rather than just a normal pencil. Let her colour simple pictures but prompt her to colour within the outline of the image. The act of colouring will help her develop a firm pencil grip, necessary for both writing and drawing activities.

4. One important activity for a preschooler learning to draw is to join the dots to complete a picture. Try to get your child many join-the-dots sheets to practise on. You can start with dots marked by numbers or just close-spaced dots making up a complete picture. Start with single objects and then move on to more complicated pictures. This activity will also help her learn how to focus while drawing.

  • For primary schoolers

1. Encourage freehand drawing and prompt your child to practise drawing straight lines first, without the aid of a ruler. Even if the lines he draws are imperfect, encourage him to keep practising till he gets better at it. Try doing the same activity with different shapes such as circles, squares, triangles, hexagons and so on.

2. An important instruction that most drawing teachers give their students is that they should refrain from using the eraser as much as possible. One reason for this is to prompt the child to be more careful, thus reducing the number of mistakes a child makes. Use the same rule with your child when she sits down to draw by asking her to refrain from using the eraser as much as possible.

3. Get your child ‘how-to-draw’ books to help him master his drawing skills. The themes for these books can be based on nature and cover subjects like birds, animals, flowers, fruits and vegetables. If you do not want to spend too much on buying books, you can also download pictures of objects and sceneries from the Internet and take printouts for him to copy from.

4. Once your child begins to draw single objects well, ask her to practise drawing more complicated pictures such as landscapes and scenes from a market place or a train station. Ensure that the pictures she attempts to draw are not too complicated at this stage, as it is important to have her go through a step-by-step approach to master the art of drawing. When she finds that she can draw the pictures more realistically, she will feel encouraged to do more. If you see that your child is unable to draw the pictures correctly, show her how to correct her mistakes and motivate her to practise till she gets better.

  • For pre-teens and teens

1. By now, your child is likely to have more advanced drawing abilities. He should learn how to draw human and animal figures with more precision as these images require a keen sense of observation and understanding of proportions. One way to help him learn the tricks is by giving him ample practice. Following a step-by-step guide can also help him understand the technique required to master the nuances.

2. As your child begins to draw more complicated pictures, it is important for her to understand the different perspectives of drawing, like the play of light and shadows. This requires developing visual intelligence, which can only be gained from observing experts and practising the art. If she has mastered the basics of drawing and has learnt to pay attention to details, then she will find it easy to move on to the next level.

3. Get your child to engage in a variety of interesting drawing activities such as creating cartoon characters and making up comic strips, drawing to promote products or ideas through posters, sketching caricatures of individuals around him, and so on. This will help him master his skills and learn new techniques.

4. Even though drawing requires a lot of hard work, it is important to give your child the platform to showcase her talents to keep her motivated. Encourage her to enrol in drawing contests in the neighbourhood or those organised by newspapers and websites. You can also organise small-scale exhibitions to showcase her work or use online opportunities as a platform. This will help her become more confident about her skills.

Mastering the art of drawing and sketching will not only help your child unleash his inner creativity but will also help him learn a craft he can turn to during stressful times. Help him develop this wonderful skill over the years and watch him grow into a remarkable artist.

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