If you have a child or if you work with children, chances are that you’ve experienced at least one instance of an art project or invitation being met with refusal. Can you think of a time?
When my older daughter was about 2.5 she wouldn’t touch crayons, markers, or any sort of mark-making tool. She didn’t start out this way, and I scratched my head trying to find a way to make drawing more fun.
I introduced drawing games such as playing with art dice, which made drawing more adventurous. I looked for novel ways to draw with unusual materials such as drawing on windows with dry erase markers, and we were back into the swing of things.
I also tried to step back and pay attention to her interests.
What did she enjoy doing? When she played on her own, what did she gravitate toward? When I did this, I noticed that she enjoyed the challenges of building activities: building block towers, stacking pillows on the furniture, and making structures out of toys. So I switched up our routine and offered her sculptural prompts such as building recycled sculptures.
We’re not all wired with an artsy gene, and I know plenty of children and adults who never find their way to the art table, but just because a child doesn’t show an interest in art do not make the assumption that it will always be that way. My daughter is a case-in-point!
Are you struggling with this problem or have you been there/done that?
Every child is unique, and we all approach challenges like this from different perspectives. I would love to hear how you have helped a child who wasn’t interested in making art. Do you have a strategy that worked? All tips are welcome — my hope is that this post will be a valuable resource for parents and teachers who may inevitably find themselves in this same situation.