For this week's Help Me Write article I have chosen to write about drawing with our children and how and why we make it a priority. Thanks for voting for it!
Children are incredibly creative but I think they can quickly lose it if it's not encouraged and used regularly. Our home is one big crazy mess of chaos pretty much all the time (apart from if we have a chance to tidy up when we have visitors!) and this mess is mainly caused by the fact that all of us are making and creating everyday. Our kitchen resembles an art studio with tubs of pens, crayons, piles of paper, bags of 'stuff', scissors, glue, sticky tape, washi tape, ribbons, stickers...it's everywhere. And all of us use it. We also have an art cupboard full of paints, more paper, stickers, more glue sticks, more 'stuff'', which the children can get stuff from whenever they want to.
Our children draw and make independently every day. Even if it's just a quick drawing after (during!) breakfast. Every evening the table is full of bits of paper and creations. Some days I wish for a beautifully tidy table and kitchen but most of the time I absolutely love the creative freedom that my children have. They have unlimited access to paper and pens. We joke that we have a '100 felt pen a month' habit but actually it's not such a joke.
We also both spend time drawing with them. Stef is far better at drawing then I am but the children love the time they get with both of us. Children love watching their parents draw or colour. It really encourages them. Sometimes we draw next to them, so we are all doing our own drawings. Sometimes they like us to do a drawing and they copy it. But our children also really love it when we do pictures together and share a piece of paper.
For Christmas we bought the children their own special sketch books for special drawing time. I love the way that they take extra care, fill the page full of details and colours, and are so proud with their work. And it will be a really beautiful record of their drawings over the year.
I hate boasting about my children's achievements and sound all competitive mother about all this but what we have learnt from doing this is that not only are our children great little artists but their handwriting and letter formation is particularly neat for their ages. We haven't prioritised drawing because we want our children to become artists but simply because it is part of who we are as people and parents. It is fun to be creative together and create as a family. And we are giving our children's creativity the best possible chance to survive, grow and become a part of them and a part of whatever they go on to do in life.
Do you draw together with your children? I'd love to hear about it.