Teaching your kids to draw doesn’t have to be time consuming. In fact, even if you don’t know how to draw very well – you can actually learn while helping them gain the skills! What should be the first steps in instructing our kids in their artistic abilities?
Teach Them to See with “Drawing Eyes”
For a while, I didn’t understand that drawing is an observational art. So much with drawing has to do with learning to observe things. A friend of mine gifted me with one of the best books that I have ever read on drawing. It really helped me discover how to draw. Here’s the book. I definitely recommend reading it and going through some of the lessons with your kids. Not only will you be teaching them, but you’ll be having fun as well.
Help them Love Art
Children need to understand the value of things in order for them to get excited. Inspiration is essential for them to keep working at this skill. Here are some ideas for you to keep the kids engaged:
Show them art in children’s literature.
One of my favorite artists is a children’s book author. Her name is Jan Brett. She has written and illustrated some of the most beautiful children’s books that are out there. Reading her books to your kids will definitely inspire them. When children see the art in the context of a story, it means a lot more to them. Show them the gorgeous artwork in her books. There’s so much detail that goes into each page. My favorite book of hers is the Gingerbread Baby. You can get it here!
How-To Video: Jan Brett has made several videos with step by step instructions for others to learn how to draw farm and wild animals. In that post, the kids can easily pick which animal video tutorial they want to watch since each one is organized and labeled into a table.
Make drawing part of family time.
Make drawing a family project. That way you can learn a new skill while bonding. For example, if you go to a pumpkin festival or pumpkin farm during the fall season, make sure you bring home some pumpkins for family time. You can use some of these pumpkin face painting ideas and creative pumpkin decorating pictures for you to brainstorm which pumpkin you will paint together as a family.
Look into the history of art with your kids.
Here’s a link to the famous Louvre Museum. Take the virtual tours of this museum with your kids. This is a great way to learn without even having to leave your home. You can do this during family time or simply whenever you feel like it.
Harness their love of the computer.
After the kids have practiced drawing a lot on paper, you can have them start drawing on the computer. Here is some free software that you can install on your hard drive. Having artistic and drawing activities to do on the computer is a great motivator for them to play with art. Here’s a fun topic about decorating gingerbread men and Christmas gingerbread house decorations, and there are several online activities linked from there.
Identify their interests.
Find a particular interest for each child and show them how drawing is involved in that field. Artwork is all around us – for example, in cartoon characters, magazine covers, brochures, etc. When I showed my oldest child that he could learn how to draw “Veggietales,” he was so excited!
Incorporate drawing into unit studies.
If you’re studying insects in the classroom or at home, teach your child(ren) how to draw them. I wrote a free penguin lesson unit study with penguin crafts & coloring pages in which you can get some creative art ideas when you’re teaching about penguins.
Don’t ignore their achievements.
Last but not least, if you want your kids getting excited about drawing, then acknowledge what they have done. Genuine words of praise go a long way. Take pictures of what they draw and display them on the refrigerator or in a scrapbook. Showcase their work to your friends and family. I can assure you this will make them very happy and help them to feel a huge sense of achievement.