Raising An Artistic Kid: Tips To Nurture Your Preschooler’s Artistic Talent
Want to encourage the artist in your child and get him to draw and paint? Here are a few tips on how to get him to make his own masterpiece.
By Leena Ghosh • 6 min read
The most treasured memories for any parent are those handmade “I Love You Mom” or “I Love You Dad” cards stuck to the fridge. Those scraggly figures with long hair and even longer arms hardly resemble you, but mean more than any store-bought card ever could!
Art, especially drawing, is one of the first ways through which a child learns to express himself or herself creatively. According to a study, ‘The Role of Drawing in Promoting Children’s Communication in Early Childhood Education’ by Joyce Ofosua Anim at the Dublin Institute of Technology and University of Malta (2012), drawing is said to help the child in her cognitive, emotional, social and communicational development. Based on the findings, the researcher states, ‘Children’s spontaneous drawing allows them to share and communicate ideas about the world and with the people around them. Therefore, children should be given open-ended opportunities to use drawing as a medium to make their intentions known.’
Tips to nurture your kid’s artistic talent
While some children take to the canvas naturally, others might show some hesitation in taking to drawing. Here are a few tips on how you can nurture your child’s creative abilities. After all, in every child there resides an artist.
- Get your hands dirty: You are your child’s first role model and he will follow your example. So, it’s important for your child to see you pick up the brush (or colour pencil) every now and then to draw. Talk to him about what you are doing, and he will automatically try to imitate you. Remember never to belittle yourself or your art in front of your child. It will send the wrong message to the child about not being confident of your work. And, he will also feel the same way about what he creates. To help develop your child’s interest in drawing, you need to sit and draw with him. Remember, you don’t have to be an artist, you just need to have the interest.
- Try new techniques: To keep drawing and colouring fun, it is important to introduce new tools and techniques. While one day you can paint using brushes, another day you can try out finger painting. You can also use chalk, markers, pens and crayons. However, give your child the space to explore and develop her own work. Her perception of ‘how to draw an elephant’ may be different than yours. Giving your child space will help develop her creativity.
- Try new surfaces: Sitting in one place and drawing on a piece of paper is not always fun. Come up with innovative ideas. Use sand as your canvas or draw a face on a balloon or make a cardboard house and ask your child to colour it. The trick is to enable your child to use his imagination through drawing.
- Talk to your child: One sure way of encouraging your child to draw is by taking an interest in what she draws. Encouragement doesn’t end with saying, “That’s a pretty picture!” Talk to your child about the colours she uses or the lines she draws (or tries to draw), especially if your child is very young. Your interest in her art will encourage her to try out new things.
- Be patient: The younger the child, the shorter will be his attention span. So, learn to be patient and do not pressurise him into drawing or colouring. Instead of a colouring book, give him a blank sheet of paper and let him draw whatever he wants. If your child loses interest, do not pressurise him. Try another time.
- Right art for the right age: It is important for you, as a parent, to understand what to expect in the form of art and at what age. Just as children first learn to sit and then stand, they first learn to scribble and then move on to drawing realistic objects. Around the age of three, children learn to draw and join lines. And, between the ages of three and four, they learn to draw realistic images. It is a natural progression and it is important for parents to be realistic.
Benefits of arts for children
Introducing your child to arts and crafts at an early age is beneficial to your child in the following ways:
- Indulging in art activities helps children to develop fine motor skills, enhances dexterity and improves hand-eye coordination.
- The social and emotional benefits of teaching art to kids include boosting self-esteem, encouraging self-expression, and promoting interaction with others.
- There are also cognitive benefits in nurturing your child’s artistic capabilities. Apart from encouraging creative thinking, it helps in enhancing visual learning, boosting memory power and improving decision-making skills.
If you want to know why art is so important for preschoolers, read in more detail about the benefits of arts for children here:
Cool art for kids of preschool age (3 to 5-year-olds)
Watercolor art for kids
Most kids love to paint with watercolors. It allows them to express their creativity in beautiful ways. If your child is interested in learning watercolor art, the below ClipBook has some great information on watercolor painting for kids.
Pencil art for kids
By the age of 3, your child would have developed a good pincer grip and can draw vertical and horizontal lines as well as circles, although imperfectly. This is a good age to introduce her to pencil art. Gift her a pack of colour pencils and some paper to draw on and let loose her artistic instincts.
However, if you are looking for more cool arts and crafts activities for preschoolers, there are plenty of ideas listed in the article below. The activities described are — splashes and blotches, art from waste, making a collage, pebble and shell art, mould and sculpt, marbling and printing, doodles and scribbles and comic strip.
With these tips and ideas, go on and encourage your little one to have fun with colours.
About the author:
Written by Leena Ghosh on 15 December 2017; updated on 17 November 2020
The author is a journalist, writer, editor and the mother of a spirited young girl. In between juggling the roles of being a full-time cheerleader for her daughter, a thorough professional and a part time chef, she dreams of finishing the first page of her unwritten book.
Looking for fun ways to keep your preschooler engaged at home during the pandemic? Check out Little Learners at Home, a home learning programme specifically designed for 3 to 5 year olds by our team of experts.
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