When I became a parent I knew that I would always make sure my children experience and appreciate the arts. Music, theatre, literature and dance are all so important to me and formed a huge part of my childhood so I’d like Gabriel and Willow to learn about creativity and enjoy considering their own! With this in mind, I make sure that they both have access to an array of paints, crayons and colouring pencils because I know that self-expression is important. After all, as toddlers I hope that Gabriel and Willow will be able to communicate their feelings about things that they see, do and want through drawing and art. I also hope that through learning to draw and colouring they will also both learn how to concentrate better too, which is an important skill for life!
However, I am not very artistic when it comes to drawing. Growing up I was always jealous of my brother Kev’s ability to draw pretty much anything with ease. It wasn’t that I didn’t try, I did. I just couldn’t (and still can’t) get the image I see in my head, on to the paper! Regardless of this issue I quite enjoyed Art lessons at school, even though I was terrible at it! I think the reason for this was that I always felt free to create what I pleased, no strict rules or barriers. It was also great form of personal expression, perfect for those teenage-angst-obsessing-about-Damon-Albarn years.
I also think it’s important that the kids have an outlet so I sometimes worry that colouring books could restrict their ability to be imaginative and perhaps be less experimenting with their ideas, so I rarely buy colouring books. I much prefer to give them paper and crayons and pencils and allow their creative independence to shine through. Of course this much depends on the child and their capability but it’s a method I will stick to for now because art is about experimenting, discovering and trying out new methods- being free to nourish the soul!
Both Gabriel and Willow seem keen to draw and genuinely appear happy whilst drawing. They’ve learned colours, shapes and also how to hold the pencil correctly, definite fine motor skills building! Whilst both kids enjoy to draw, it is Willow in particular who has wanted to express herself of late and so I thought I would share with you a few of her recent pieces.
Introducing.. The Wall
And my personal favourite.. The Scary Doll
As you can see, Willow has certainly released her creativity. I asked her why she had drawn on the wall, rather than be cross- because as annoying as it was, I found it quite amusing really! She replied that it was not her,in fact, absolute denial! I like to think that this is because she wants to showcase her work under a pseudonym, perhaps Mini Banksy? Rather than a blatant lie to avoid being in trouble..
The doll was a different story, Willow just appeared with it from the playroom and handed it to me saying ‘Dolly got make up on Mummy’ All I could do was laugh, perhaps all the times she has sat and watched me apply my make up influenced the incident! But in all seriousness, as adults we don’t know what our children’s intentions are. I think it is a good idea to talk about what your child is drawing and where they are drawing because it shows interest, not everything that they want to express can sometimes be said in words or actions! So I will just take the hit on this one, I have painted over the damage and moved on. The doll unfortunately I feel may never move on after her ‘makeover’! I won’t be removing crayons or paint from Willow’s reach though- after all, a spiral of colours likely means she is happy, even if they are all over a scary looking doll’s face.
So let your child grab a crayon or a pen whenever they please, just make sure you give them stacks of paper..