How to teach a child to draw

Teaching a child to draw is mostly a question of observing their progress and offering them new methods of exploration. For the first five years of a child’s how to teach a child to draw, your teaching will be limited to providing space, time, tools, and encouragement.

In later years, you may offer to teach a child new skills, such as drawing from observation, practicing perspectives, and drawing correct proportions. Make art part of the routine. Make an art-zone if you want to isolate the mess. Tape down paper for them to draw on and spill on, and make a smock out of old clothes. Taping paper on a table can help a small child focus on the motion of drawing, without having to hold down and adjust the drawing paper. Buy chunky crayons and washable markers that are easy to grip.

Offer a variety of art materials at this age. Don’t focus only on drawing with tools: children can draw by tracing pictures in sand, or shaping clay and sticking it on the page. Buy washable paints, nontoxic clay, chalk, child-safe scissors, and many kinds of paper, and store in an easy to access spot. Children develop basic motor skills with every scribble. They also develop creativity, invention, and self-expression. A child this young needs no instructions, only appreciation. Sit with children when they draw, talk with them about their art, but do not attempt to teach.

Rather than praising or correcting a child’s art, observe it. Comment on the process, not the product. While the child draws, say “look at all the circles you are making! Some small circles are inside the big circles” or “I see you are using orange and green crayons now. Say what you like about a drawing: “that big sun makes me think of a day at the beach!

Instead, ask “can you tell me about your drawing? If a child is excited to talk about their drawing, ask more questions. A child may begin to add more details when you ask questions. When a child is drawing representational work, they will often imagine a story that goes with the work. Make art part of emotional processing.