Learning to Draw - Teach your Child to Draw - Ages 1 - 4
Learning to Draw is Fun and Educational for Kids (and adults!).
It allows children to have fun while developing their fine motor skills and creative skills. As your child's fine motor skills will have improved over their fist year, they are probably physically able to hold a crayon at around 12 months and start drawing. If your child takes longer, that’s fine too as children develop at different rates.
Drawing is an important skill for your child to learn at an early age. It provides the basics for developing your child’s creative skills along with their reading, writing and even mathematics. You should encourage your child to improve their skills, but remember that they should also have some free time with no restrictions to draw what they want. Your child’s education is important, so it should be kept interesting, enjoyable, not forced. The lesson notes below should be used as guidelines that can inspire you, and help give you ideas of your own, to help your child learn to draw.
12 to 30 months:
Start by getting some crayons, paper and explaining to your child that you want to draw with them. Start by drawing a line and getting your child to choose a color and continue drawing where you left off. Get your child to say the name of each color as they use it and you can do the same when it's your turn. Continue taking turns drawing straight and curved lines until the paper is full of designs and scribbles. You can now color in the shapes your lines have made and take note of any obvious shapes that may appear by saying them aloud.
If your child at this stage is able to draw vertical or horizontal lines or even a circle you should praise them well. Drawing with a crayon involves grasping and holding along with other fine motor skills and will give your child’s confidence a boost along with developing their vision and imagination. Always talk to your child about the picture that you are creating together. Once completed hang it on the refrigerator for you both to enjoy.
You should note that premature babies may take longer to reach key milestones. Also, many kids don’t start scribbling until they are 15 or 16 months old, and continue on to be excellent students at school.
31 to 36 months:
By the time your child reaches two and a half, they will be able to hold a crayon well. Children at this age can now draw angels like the "V" shape which is more difficult than drawing straight lines. Your toddler will also have the ability to make circular shapes and maybe even able to write a few letters. If your child is not at this level don't feel pressured, wait until they are really interested and excited. Your toddler will draw in his or her own good time and will still be on track developmentally. Get your child to explain every squiggle in their drawing. It may look like a scribble to you but it could be of great relevance to them.
At this age you will notice your toddler spending more time at their drawings as they are usually keen scribblers. Make sure you supervise as your walls and furniture can be subjected to crayon markings too.
3 to 4 years:
You can now get your child to draw basic shapes e.g. circles, triangles and squares. First draw the shape your self and then get your child to copy it. Your child will soon learn how to draw each of these shapes by themselves. You can combine drawing with learning how to count by counting the corners of each shape. You child will enjoy coloring in the shapes that you have created together. At this stage many children will be able to draw several letters of the alphabet too. Children are usually keen on drawing people. Start your child with matchstick men and he/she will add on more details as they get better.
How to quickly print these notes and guidelines:
Use your mouse to highlight all of text that you want to print out. Then copy/paste that text into a text-only editor on your computer. For example, Notepad, a common text editor included with all versions of Microsoft Windows, and found in Start, All Programs, Accessories. Then click on "File" in the top left corner of the Notepad document, and click on "Print".
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