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How to Teach Kids to Draw

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Mom teaching daughter how to draw.

When it comes to art, there is no wrong way to do it. It is all about exploring different mediums and finding what works best for you. The same goes for teaching kids how to draw.

There are many different ways that you can go about it, and the most important thing is to find a method that works best for both you and your child.

Just remember: Drawing is a skill that is learned through practice and patience. As with most things, the more you do it, the better you become at it. However, there are some tips and tricks that can help make the learning process a little bit easier for kids.

But before we jump into that, we need to look at some of the basics.

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Why Learn to Draw?

Whether your child is the next Picasso or just enjoys doodling, learning to draw can offer a number of benefits. For one, drawing helps kids develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It also boosts problem-solving and creative thinking skills.

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In addition, when kids draw, they often enter into a state of flow, which can lead to a sense of calm and relaxation.

5 Benefits of Drawing

Drawing offers children several benefits that contribute to their overall development.

1. Fine Motor Skills

Teacher teaching little girl some motor skills.

One of the benefits of drawing is that it helps kids develop fine motor skills. Fine motor skills refer to the ability to control small muscles in the hands and fingers. These skills are important for tasks such as writing, buttoning a shirt, and tying shoelaces.

Hand-eye coordination is another important fine motor skill that drawing can help children develop. This skill refers to the ability to coordinate what the eyes see with the hands in order to complete a task. For example, when playing catch, kids need to be able to see the ball and then coordinate their hands to catch it. 

2. Problem Solving Skills

In addition to fine motor skills, drawing also helps kids develop problem-solving skills. For example, when trying to draw a person, children must figure out how to proportion the different parts of the body correctly. They also need to think about how to use perspective to make the drawing look realistic.

Drawing can also help kids boost their creative thinking skills. This involves looking at problems in new and different ways and coming up with original solutions.

For example, when presented with a blank piece of paper, some kids might immediately start drawing a picture. Others might take some time to think about what they want to draw before putting pencil to paper.

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3. Self-Expression

Another important benefit of drawing is that it allows children to express themselves. Through their drawings, kids can share their feelings, thoughts, and ideas with others.

This can be especially beneficial for kids who struggle to express themselves verbally. Additionally, drawing can be a helpful way for kids to process and make sense of their emotions.

For example, a child who is feeling angry might draw a picture of a monster. A child who is feeling sad might draw a picture of a crying face. And a child who is feeling happy might draw a picture of the sun shining.

Drawing can also be used as a form of storytelling. Children can use their drawings to create characters, settings, and plots for stories. This can help them boost their literacy skills and develop a love of reading and writing.

4. Visual Learning

Teacher teaching students how to paint.

Another benefit of drawing is that it can help children with visual learning. Visual learning refers to the ability to understand and remember information by looking at pictures or other visual aids. This type of learning is important for tasks such as reading and understanding maps.

Drawing can help kids develop visual learning skills in several ways. First, when children draw, they are creating a visual representation of something. This can help them better understand and remember the thing that they have drawn.

Additionally, drawing can also help children improve their visualization skills. This refers to the ability to create a mental image of something that is not physically present. For example, when looking at a picture in a book, kids can use their visualization skills to imagine what the scene would look like in real life.

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5. Increased Focus and Concentration

Finally, drawing can also help children increase their focus and concentration. This is because the act of drawing requires kids to pay attention to detail and stay focused on the task at hand. Additionally, when kids are working on a drawing, they are often more engaged and motivated than they would be if they were completing a worksheet or other type of assignment.

This increased focus and concentration can have a number of benefits. For example, it can help kids better retain information that they are learning in school. Additionally, it can also help them develop stronger self-discipline skills.

Focus can also serve as a type of relaxation and decompression. After a long day of school or other activities, sitting down and working on a drawing can help kids wind down and relax. This can lead to improved sleep habits and overall better health.

When looking for ways to help your child develop important skills, consider adding drawing to your list. This simple activity can provide a variety of benefits that will help your child succeed both academically and emotionally.

How Parents Can Teach Toddlers to Draw

The approach you take to teaching someone how to draw depends largely on their age. For example, teaching a toddler to draw is going to be different than teaching an older child or adult. In general, though, there are a few things that you can do to help your child learn how to draw.

One of the best things you can do – across the board – is to provide them with plenty of opportunities to practice. This means keeping plenty of paper and crayons or markers on hand. It can also be helpful to set aside some time each day for drawing. This dedicated time will allow your child to really focus on their drawings and make progress.

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It is also important to be patient when teaching someone how to draw. Drawing takes practice, and it is normal for children (and adults!).

1. Take it Slow

Mom teaching her baby how to color.

This principle is true for everyone but is especially true when it comes to teaching toddlers anything.

Your first task is to ensure that your child is holding the crayon correctly. The grip may seem unnatural at first, but it will eventually become second nature.

Next, encourage your child to start with basic shapes. Circles, triangles, and squares are all good places to start. Once they have mastered these shapes, they can begin to move on to more complex drawings.

As your child progresses, you can provide them with more challenging drawing prompts. For example, you can ask them to draw a picture of their favorite animal or toy.

The key is to take things slow and let your child progress at their own pace.

2. Encourage Creativity

One of the best things about drawing is that it allows children to express their creativity. As they are learning how to draw, encourage your child to experiment with different techniques and styles.

For example, they could try drawing with different types of crayons or markers. They could also experiment with making different kinds of lines or shapes.

It is also important to let your child know that there is no “right” way to draw. The goal is for them to have fun and express their creativity, not to create a masterpiece.

Encouraging creativity will also help your child build their confidence. They will begin to see that their drawings are valuable, even if they don’t look “perfect.”

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3. Provide Feedback

When your child shows you their latest drawing, take the time to give them some positive feedback. This will help them feel proud of their work and motivated to keep going.

It is also important to avoid giving too much criticism. If you point out every little mistake, your child may become discouraged and lose interest in drawing.

Instead, focus on the positive aspects of their drawings. For example, you could say that you love the way they used color or that you’re impressed by the detail in their work.

Providing supportive feedback will help your child feel confident and encourage them to keep exploring their creativity.

4. Invest in Some Stencils

Little girl drawing through a stencil.

If your child is getting frustrated by making a certain shape, or you want to encourage them to draw with proper form, consider investing in a few stencils.

There are stencils available for all sorts of different shapes, including animals, letters, and numbers. This can be a great way to help your child learn how to draw complex shapes.

To use stencils, simply trace around the edge of the shape with a pencil or marker. Once your child is comfortable with the shape, they can start to experiment with adding their own details and embellishments.

Stencils can also be a fun way to add variety to your child’s drawings. They can use stencils to create a drawing that is entirely made up of different shapes. Or, they could use stencils to create a border around their drawing.

5. Try Different Mediums

In addition to trying different types of crayons and markers, you can also encourage your child to experiment with other mediums. For example, they could try drawing with pencils, chalk, or even paint.

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Each medium provides its own unique set of challenges. For example, painting requires the use of different brush strokes than drawing. This can help your child develop their fine motor skills and explore their creativity.

There are also a variety of different papers that you can use for drawing. For example, your child could try drawing on construction paper, watercolor paper, or even Bristol board.

Experimenting with different mediums is a great way to keep your child’s interest in drawing alive. They will never get bored if they are always trying something new.

Just be sure to teach them not to draw on anything they’re not supposed to! (And it never hurts to invest in washable materials – just in case!)

How Parents Can Teach Toddlers to Color Inside the Lines

Kid coloring a color book.

Ahh yes. The bane of every OCD parent’s existence – getting our kids to color inside the lines. It seems like such a simple concept, yet so many toddlers (and let’s be honest, even some preschoolers and kindergartners) have difficulty with it.

There are a few things that you can do to help your toddler learn how to color inside the lines.

1. Use Thicker Lines

When you are first teaching your toddler how to color inside the lines, it can be helpful to use thicker lines. This will give them a larger target to hit and make it easier for them to stay within the boundaries.

You can find coloring pages with thicker lines online or in many coloring books.

2. Use a Whiteboard

Another option is to use a whiteboard. Draw some simple shapes on the board with a thick marker. Then, give your toddler a dry-erase marker and let them color inside the lines.

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This is a great activity for toddlers because it is reusable. Plus, it’s a great way to help them develop their fine motor skills.

3. Use Dot-to-Dot Coloring Pages

Dot-to-dot coloring pages are another great option for toddlers. These pages have numbers on them, and your child will need to connect the dots in order to complete the picture.

This is a great way to help your child learn how to follow directions and stay within the lines. Plus, it’s just plain fun!

4. Use Stickers

If all else fails, you can always resort to using stickers. Give your toddler a coloring page and some stickers. Then, let them place the stickers wherever they want.

This may not seem like it would teach them how to color inside the lines, but it can actually be quite effective. As they place the stickers on the page, they will naturally start to learn where the boundaries are.

And once they get the hang of it, you can move on to using regular coloring pages!

How Parents Can Teach Kids 5 and Up to Draw

Mother and daughter drawing on the floor.

Now, if you have a kid between 5 and 12, the process of teaching them to draw can be a little complicated. Why? Well, depending on their age, fine motor skills, and motivation, their drawings could actually turn out pretty darn good.

So how do you foster this development?

Let’s take a look.

1. Get Them the Right Supplies

In order to set your child up for success, you need to make sure they have the right supplies. This means getting them a good-quality sketchbook, some nice pencils, and maybe even some charcoal or pastels. If they are old enough and seem interested, you can also let them experiment with watercolors or acrylics.

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The goal is to get them supplies that they will be excited to use and that will inspire them to create.

If they are using pencils, be sure to get them a good-quality sharpener as well. And if they are using markers, make sure to get ones that are non-toxic and have good coverage.

2. Teach Them the Basics

Once you have the supplies, it’s time to teach your child the basics of drawing. This means showing them how to hold a pencil, how to make different strokes, and how to shade.

If you’re not sure how to do this yourself, there are plenty of books and websites that can help. Or, you can even take a class together!

Some of the most important basics to cover include, but are not limited to:

  • How to hold a pencil
  • Which pencils to use when
  • How to make different strokes
  • How to shade

These are just the basics, but once your child has a good understanding of these concepts, they will be well on their way to becoming a great artist.

3. Watch Instructional Videos

Youtube videos are incredible free resources that can teach you everything you ever wanted to know about drawing!

So why not use them to teach your kids as well?

There are tons of great instructional videos out there for kids. Just do a quick search, and you’ll find plenty of options.

Sit down with your child and watch a few videos together. Then, have them try out what they’ve learned. It’s a great way for them to learn and have fun at the same time.

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4. Give Them Time to Practice

Once your child has learned the basics, it’s important to give them time to practice. This means setting aside some time each day (or week) for them to draw.

It doesn’t have to be for hours on end. Even just 20 minutes will suffice. The important thing is that they are given the time and space to practice their new skills.

And if they get stuck, don’t worry! Just give them some encouragement and let them know that practice makes perfect.

5. Encourage Them to Be Creative

One of the most important things you can do is to encourage your child to be creative. This means letting them experiment with different mediums, styles, and subjects.

Don’t worry about whether or not their drawings are “good.” Just let them express themselves and have fun.

The more creative they are, the more likely they are to stick with it and continue learning.

How Parents Can Teach Teenagers to Draw

Teaching a teenager to draw is largely dependent on their level of interest.

If they are enthusiastic and want to learn, then you can approach it in much the same way as you would a younger child. This means getting them the right supplies, teaching them the basics, and giving them time to practice.

However, if they are not particularly interested in learning how to draw, then you may need to take a different approach. In this case, it’s important to find ways to make the learning process fun and engaging.

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1. Let Them Choose Their Own Supplies

Teenager buying art supplies.

The first step is to let them choose their own supplies. This means giving them the freedom to select their own sketchbook, pencils, and other materials.

It’s important to let them make these choices because it will make them more likely to use the supplies and actually enjoy the process of drawing.

If they are unsure of what to choose, you can always give them some recommendations. But ultimately, it should be up to them.

2. Encourage Them to Experiment

Once they have their supplies, encourage them to experiment. This means trying out different mediums and styles. They may want to start with pencils and then move on to charcoal or even paint.

It’s important to let them explore because it will help them find their own unique voice as an artist. And who knows, they may even surprise themselves with what they are capable of.

3. Think About Their Interests

When it comes to the subject matter of their drawings, think about their interests. This could be anything from their favorite TV show to a hobby they are passionate about.

Do they like Manga? Perhaps they would be interested in learning a Japanese style of drawing.

What about sports? Maybe they’ll want to learn how to draw action shots!

The key is to find something that they are interested in and then use that as a starting point. From there, you can branch out and explore other related topics.

For example, if they are interested in nature, you could teach them how to draw landscapes or animals.

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4. Don’t Be too Pushy

It’s important to remember that not all teenagers will want to learn how to draw. And that’s okay!

If they show no interest in it, then don’t push them. Just let them know that you are there if they ever change their mind.

Trying to force them to learn will only make them resentful and less likely to want to do it.

5. Give Them Space

Teenager drawing in the park.

If they do show interest, it’s still important to give them space. This means letting them approach the learning process at their own pace.

Some teenagers will want to dive right in and learn as much as they can. Others will take a more relaxed approach and only do it when they feel like it.

Either way is fine. Just make sure that you are not pushing them too hard. They should be enjoying the experience,

6. Give Them Advice and Feedback as They Ask For it

You need to keep your relationship with your teenager in mind when choosing how the two of you talk about this subject. But in general, when an adolescent is learning a new skill, it’s best to give them advice and feedback only when they ask for it.

This is because they are more likely to be receptive to it if they feel like they are in control of the situation. So, unless they specifically ask for your help, try to let them figure things out on their own.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should never offer your advice. Just be mindful of how you do it.

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For example, if they are having trouble with a certain technique, you could gently suggest a different way of doing it. Or, if they seem to be struggling with their confidence, you could give them some words of encouragement.

The key is to make sure that they feel like they are in the driver’s seat. This will give them the motivation to keep learning and improve their skills.

7. Help Them Find Their Own Style

One of the most important things you can do for your teenager is to help them find their own style. This means teaching them how to experiment and think outside the box.

Encourage them to try out different mediums and styles. And most importantly, help them to find their own voice as an artist.

The goal is not for them to copy your style or anyone else’s. It’s for them to develop their own unique way of expressing themselves through art.

And who knows, they may even surprise themselves with what they are capable of.

8. Keep it Fun

If you do manage to get them interested in learning how to draw, then make sure to keep it fun. This means finding ways to engage and motivate them.

One way to do this is by setting goals. For example, you could challenge them to complete a drawing within a certain time frame. Or you could give them a list of things to draw and see how many they can do in a day.

Another way to keep it fun is by mixing things up. This could involve trying out different mediums or exploring different styles of drawing.

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The key is to find what works for them and then keep mixing things up so that they don’t get bored.

9. Be Their Cheerleader

Finally, it’s important to be their cheerleader. This means showing your teenager that you are proud of their progress and encouraging them to keep going.

Give them positive feedback and let them know that you believe in their ability to improve.

And if they ever have a setback, be there to encourage them and help them get back on track.

9 Ways to Motivate Your Child or Student to Practice Drawing

Now, no matter how much your child loves their hobby, some days, they just won’t feel like practicing. Once in a while, that’s perfectly fine. But if they want to improve, they can’t make a habit of skipping practice. Here are nine ways to get them back on track.

1. Find Out What’s Going On

Mom and son having a serious conversation.

The first step is to find out what’s going on. Talk to your child and see if there’s anything going on in their life that might be affecting their attitude towards practice. Maybe they’re feeling overwhelmed or discouraged. Or maybe they’re just plain bored.

Once you know what the problem is, you can start to look for solutions.

2. Help Them Set Realistic Goals

One of the biggest reasons why children give up on their hobbies is because they feel like they’re not making progress. This can be incredibly discouraging, especially for younger children.

That’s why it’s important to help them set realistic goals. This way, they can see that they are making progress and that their hard work is paying off.

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Start by breaking down their goal into smaller, more manageable pieces. For example, if their goal is to learn how to draw a new animal, break it down into basic animal parts and help them set a goal for learning to draw each section.

Then, help them track their progress by setting up a practice chart. Every time they practice, they can check off one of the sections on their chart. This will help them see how much closer they are to reaching their goal.

3. Make Practice More Fun

If your child is struggling to find motivation, try making practice more fun. One way to do this is by turning it into a game.

For example, you could create a practice chart with different animal parts and award points for each section they complete. The child with the most points at the end of the week wins a prize.

You could also try coming up with creative ways to practice. For example, if your child is learning to draw people, you could have them practice by drawing pictures of their friends and family.

Or, if they’re learning to draw animals, you could have them practice by drawing pictures of their favorite animals.

The key is to find what works for your child and then make practice more enjoyable so that they’re more likely to stick with it.

4. Encourage Them to Experiment

One of the best ways to learn is by experimentation. So encourage your child to experiment with different mediums, styles, and techniques.

This will not only help them improve their skills, but it will also prevent them from getting bored.

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You can also experiment along with them. This way, you can provide guidance and support while they’re exploring new things.

5. Find a Role Model

Professional artist painting on canvas.

One of the best motivators is seeing someone else succeed at something you want to do. So help your child find a role model who is doing what they want to do.

This could be a professional artist, a friend or family member, or even someone they admire from afar. The important thing is that they have someone to look up to and aspire to be like.

Seeing someone else achieve their dreams can be a powerful motivator for your child to keep going, even when things get tough.

6. Give Them Praise and Encouragement

Giving your child praise and encouragement is one of the best ways to motivate them. Make sure to praise them when they do something well and encourage them to keep going even when they make mistakes.

Your words of encouragement will help them feel confident and inspired to keep practicing and improving.

7. Let Them See Their Own Progress

One of the best motivators is seeing your own progress. So make sure your child has a way to track their progress and see how much they’ve improved over time.

This could be a practice chart, a portfolio of their drawings, or even just a simple photo album. Seeing their own progress will help them feel proud of their accomplishments and motivated to keep going.

When it comes to teaching kids how to draw, motivation is key. By helping them set realistic goals, making practice more fun, and encouraging them to experiment, you can keep them motivated and help them improve their skills. And, as they see their own progress, they’ll be even more inspired to keep going.

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8. Help Them Find Their Own Style

Sometimes, things we love get boring. Oftentimes shaking up our routine or introducing something new will do the trick. Encourage your child to find their own style. This could be by experimenting with different mediums, trying new techniques, or mixing and matching styles.

Letting them find their own style will help them feel more creative and inspired. And, as they develop their own unique style, they’ll be more motivated to keep practicing and improving.

Some different art styles you can introduce them to include:

  • Impressionism
  • Cubism
  • Expressionism
  • Surrealism
  • Abstract art

Experimenting with different styles will help your child find their own voice and develop their skills. So, encourage them to keep trying new things until they find something they’re passionate about.

9. Encourage Them to Share Their Drawings

Mom and son showing their paintings.

Encourage your child to share their drawings with others. This could be by showing them to family and friends, posting them online, or entering them in contests.

Sharing their drawings will help them feel proud of their work and motivated to keep improving. And, as they get positive feedback from others, they’ll be even more inspired to continue practicing and developing their skills.

So encourage your child to share their drawings and watch their confidence and motivation grow.

The Bottom Line

Teaching kids how to draw can be a fun and rewarding experience. By following these tips, you can help them set realistic goals, make practice more enjoyable, and find their own unique style. And, as they see their own progress and receive encouragement from others, they’ll be motivated to keep practicing and improving.

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Happy drawing!

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