drawing with kids

Children’s Drawings Can Show and Tell

Last week was Canada’s turn for a long weekend, Victoria Day. Now, it’s the long weekend in the US for Memorial Day. For both countries, these days are the unofficial start of summer. Similarly, they both have links to historical events and past traditions.

Children are very present oriented, which is quite understandable. They don’t have a lot of past. Adults are often reminded to be in the Now. But, for all of us, what we imagine as our future, is influenced by our past and at some level, we need to engage with the past.

child's drawing soldier

A simple Memorial Day activity for kids is to ask them to draw a picture of a soldier. As we ask children to remember soldiers, we also need to check what they know about them. Having them draw and tell us about what they colored on the page is one way to see and hear their thoughts. Children’s drawings are a sort of show and tell.

The following video has been circulating on Facebook this week. For the charity, Inspiring the Future, children were asked to draw a picture of a firefighter, a surgeon, and a fighter pilot.

Out of 66 pictures, 61 drawings were men and only 5 were women. When we ask children to draw a picture of a soldier, will they draw men or women? Most likely, the soldiers will be men. Regardless, this post isn’t a criticism of gender limitations. That would not be appropriate here. Instead, it’s a reminder to think of soldiers are real people. As neighbors, family members, the dads and moms of kids who also go to play school, daycare, and kindergarten. Do kids know what they do? Who they are?

Having a link to a soldier in the present, helps children connect to the past. A personal familiarity will make remembering others so much more meaningful. Is there a way you can make connecting to a soldier happen for your child?

Draw and Color Holiday Fun

How about some draw and color holiday fun for kids? Set out some crayons or paints and plenty of paper. There are coloring books for grownups now to relieve stress and tension, so you may want to join kids at the table or on the floor and color too. Sometimes, tables and floors need some extra paper or plastic so they don’t accidentally get colored too.

holiday art fun
photo courtesy of MFair

Holiday time comes with lots of ideas for things to draw and color, some easier for younger kids and some more challenging for older ones. Lines are easier to draw than circles, which take a great deal of muscle control. Toddlers may want to cover a page with lots of different colored lines and scribbles. Use stiff paper, fold it in half and it becomes a card to send in the mail or give to someone special.

holiday art funCandles are fairly easy shapes to draw with two straight lines and some bright colors to be the flame. People are basically lines and circles and they can be doing so many different things, like a little holiday shopping. One person is also talking in this picture. Pictures are another way to represent what’s happening in their world.

Christmas children's artWhen children draw or paint, hands aren’t the only things that are busy. So are brains. Not only do kids need to control the small muscles in their hands, wrists, and arms, they also have to coordinate the picture in their mind with what’s happening on the paper. They concentrate on what they are doing, pay attention to some things like how much pressure to put on the brush or crayon and ignore other things, such as the background sounds of traffic.

Children’s art will not always be something. Kids simply like to create, to try different actions. We can invite kids to talk about what they are doing by saying, “Tell me about this.” By drawing them into a conversation, we give them a chance to express themselves in words as well as pictures. Giving kids the opportunity to play with colors and paper is a way for them to communicate their feelings and thoughts during a busy, eventful time. Could this draw and color holiday fun be your child’s play-of-the-day?

October Alphabet: D is for Drawing and Kids

The words, “I can’t draw,” are more likely to be said by adults because we are focused on the product. The story is quite different for drawing and kids. For children, it’s the process that’s important because drawing is another way to play.

drawing fun for kidsIf we think of crayons, markers, chalk, and paper as another kind of toy, then it’s easier to encourage kids to simply have fun. Once we know the walls and floors are safe, we can let children discover what these toys can do and how they can play with them. Drawing can be empowering, because suddenly kids are able to ‘make a mark’ and affect the world around them.

Drawing supports the development of many brain connections and thinking skills. As children draw, they are representing what they see as well as what they imagine. Creating pictures on paper helps visualizing, or making pictures in the mind.

Some adult artists have added an element of fun to encourage more drawing with two challenges. One is called Drawlloween and the other is Inktober. The intention is to check the word for the day on October’s calendar and to draw whatever it is. You can make a calendar with your child. Ask your child what things might be fun to draw. The suggestions do not have to be for Halloween, they can be anything.

drawing fun for kidsBecause we had just been looking at some costumes, Big Sister thought of drawing some ghosts. Little Sister asked if she could paint  instead. I wondered if the drawings would be invisible like ghosts, but Big Sister used a pen and Little Sister painted one that is blue and pink.

Drawing is not something that we can or can’t do. Like other abilities and talents, some people are better at drawing than others, but we can all draw to some extent. Some children will be more interested than others, but all children can explore with drawing tools and toys. For a play-of-the-day, what would your child like to use for some drawing fun?

Colors of Childhood: Drawing with Crayons

This year is the 60th anniversary of Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson. Reading it can inspire some drawing with crayons fun for kids. Harold even drew some fun for adults in an episode of The Simpsons. Harold and his purple crayon not only draw pictures, they also have adventures, with the crayon … Continue reading Colors of Childhood: Drawing with Crayons

Dinovember: Draw a Dinosaur for Preschoolers

Did you know that drawing is a powerful activity for early learning and brain development? Not all kids enjoy drawing but dinosaurs are pretty appealing. Kids–and adults–do not have to be good at it!! It’s a form of PLAY. When it comes to drawing, it’s very challenging for me. I really appreciate when the drawing … Continue reading Dinovember: Draw a Dinosaur for Preschoolers