It’s not a Dog, it’s My Mommy: Tips for Drawing and Creating with Children
When you see a child’s drawing what do you notice, say or ask?
Most times, as grown ups, we’ll label what we “think” the drawing / painting / sculpture / creation is that a child made. Or as children create, we will show them what whatever it is “should” look like. For example, take a star — we may show them. What would happen if we didn’t show them but see what kind of star they’d create based on their own observation and imagination? As opposed to getting a replica of the carbon copied four pointed star (as illustrated in the picture below) — we may just get something else more creative and out of the box way of seeing the world in which we live.
The following are tips for making with children.
- Don’t name it — ask open ended questions. Ask children to tell you the story of their picture / creation and write it down as they tell you the story of it. Ask them to describe it. Think of who, what, when, where, why and how questions. This shows you value their masterpieces as you actively listen and take notes about their work.
- Save their creations — save their work and bring it back out so they can add more detail to it or be inspired to make another part. Learn new terms like dip-tic, trip-tec etc. This helps children to work on a project over time and strengthens their attention to detail.
- Display their work — at their eye level. If they want let them help you or even let them do it by themselves. This shows that you value their work without over empty praise such as always saying good job or it’s beautiful. The action of displaying their work whether on a shelf or on a wall says to children: “I value your work. You are a creator.”
What ways do you inspire and encourage children’s creativity?