Updated June 2022
We often get asked 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, our post on “What to Do When My Child Doesn’t Like 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.
If this describes your child, here are a few tips for you!
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.
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
Some other drawing activities to consider that are more about the process and less about the finished product are:
- Drawing to music
- Doodling, tangle art, and other more abstract forms of drawing
- Double doodle art (perhaps focusing on the abstract for now)
- Blind contour drawing (this always results in giggles in our house)
If the child seems to want it, consider teaching some drawing skills or use a how to draw book. We 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.
Another great way to encourage reluctant artists is through drawing prompts! Drawing prompts help children draw and think more creatively by inspiring them with interesting and challenging art prompts and questions. And we love Jean’s book full of drawing prompts!
Invitation to Draw offers 99 open-ended drawing prompts, each one proposing a question to investigate that encourages children to free associate and problem solve. A blank cake provides the chance to decorate a dream confection, an empty house inspires stories about who lives there, and a grid of triangles supplies the chance to explore abstract art. What might be hiding in that tree? What sort of robot can you design? The possibilities are endless!
More Drawing Ideas for Kids
- 12 Kids Art Games for Fun and Creativity
- How to Encourage Creativity, Skills and Confidence for Kids Drawing
- Creative Drawing Activities for Kids
- How to Inspire Your Kids with Creative Drawing Prompts
- 16 Printable Art Activities for Kids
- DIY Art Activity Pages for Kids
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