Child focused on drawing

Tips for Helping Kids Become Creative in Drawing

When we talk about creativity, many people think it’s something their kids are either born with or not: just like not all kids are equally smart, not all kids are equally creative.

But creativity is more of a skill than something you are born with. Therefore parents and teachers can help kids learn to think creatively from a young age. How do you do that, though? As it turns out, one of the most effective ways is to simply… put pencil to paper and draw.

People often think that the best way to help kids be creative is to just get out of their way and let them do their own thing. After all, they draw non-stop, don’t they? But even though kids are naturally curious and inquisitive, they need help to develop their creative skills and reach their full creative potential. Then, the biggest problem isn’t how to “teach” children to be creative, but how to create the environment where their drawings and creativity can take root, grow, and thrive.

Easier said than done. Helping children grow and learn is a matter of balance, you have to know when to step in and when to step back. If you are looking for that balance so that your child can enjoy creative drawing, we can help with some tips.

Little boy drawing picture of green monster

How does drawing enhance creativity?

Drawing skills have been linked to better creativity, better memory, and less stress. Even art therapy uses it. But what’s most important is that it’s a simple activity that your child can do every day, even though our lives are already too busy. Through drawing and doodling:

  • Kids can work through their feelings and ideas, and a finished piece of art can help them talk about what they were thinking in a new and meaningful way.
  • They get used to making decisions. Instead of being told what to do, the child gives the answers and tells the adults what to do.
  • Their minds work through things in a subconscious way, so they can solve problems in a creative way on a bigger scale.

13 tips to encourage creativity in drawing

These tips are good for both parents and teachers because the most important things to do to encourage creativity are the same at home and in the classroom.

Show examples to get ideas flowing

It can be scary to start with nothing. A list of examples can help get the mind working. By showing examples that are inspiring, you can get a sense of what’s possible and get ideas for how to start. Choose from a wide range of styles in order to find out what the child likes and is passionate about, from basic shapes to art paintings, comics, photos, etc.

Inspiration comes while fooling around

Imagination happens in both the mind and the hands. Encourage kids to play around with materials to help them come up with ideas for drawings. When kids play with pencils or mess around with craft supplies, new ideas come to them.

Drawing materials

Give a lot of different materials

The tools and things that kids use every day have a big effect on them. To get kids involved in creative activities, give them a wide range of things they can use to draw: colored pencils, markers, crayons, magazines for collage, tempera, glitter, etc.

Accept all kinds of drawings

Different kinds of drawing are interesting to different kids. Some enjoy drawing monsters with markers. Others like to use brushes to draw landscapes. One can also show who they are by just scribbling with random colors. There are no bad drawings.

Focus on the steps, not the end result

When kids are drawing, focus on the creative process, not just the end result. Ask children where they get their ideas from. Set aside times for them to share their drawings at different stages and talk about what they want to do next and why.

Encourage children to try new things by giving equal credit to both successes and failures. If they fail at something the first time they try it, they might give up. But mistakes often teach us more than successes, and they can inspire your child to try out new ideas.

Child focused on drawing

Plan ahead and give them more time to create

Children need time to be creative, especially if they are always coming up with new ideas. Trying to fit things into a 15-minute time frame goes against the whole point of working on creativity. It discourages taking risks and trying new things, and it makes getting to the “right” answer quickly and in the time allotted the most important thing.

So don’t put time limits on what they’re doing. Instead, look for quiet times when they don’t have to rush off to do something else.

Help out as a team player

Sometimes parents and teachers tend to intervene too much in children’s creative activities, telling them what to do or taking their pencils to teach them how to draw something. Or, at the other extreme, they do not get involved at all. There is a happy medium where you pay attention to what the child is doing but don’t get in the way.

Cheerful cute kids having fun drawing

Ask open-ended questions

It’s good for kids to get really into drawing, but it’s also important for them to take a step back and think about what’s going on. You can get kids to think by asking them questions about what they have drawn. For example, “Where did the idea come from?” The question makes them think about what inspired and drove them.

If a child is upset because something went wrong with a drawing, just ask, “What did you want to do?” When they talk about what they were trying to do, they often see how they could have done it better.

Make kids think about what might happen

Teaching kids to ask “What if?” helps them think of new ideas. If kids ask themselves questions about the world and how it works, they are sure to find different and fun answers of their own.

See who can draw the craziest “what-if” situation as a creative challenge.

Find out what your child is interested in

When children really care about something, they are more likely to give it their all. Find out what is your child’s current passion and use it as a lever: their favorite animals, dinosaurs, robots, unicorns, car wash tunnels, puppies… All are fantastic starting points to get to draw.

Little girl drawing outdoors

Spend time outdoors

Getting outside is not only good for mental health but can also help think of new ideas. Spending time outside can make kids more curious, help they think in new ways, and relax. Take your child’s drawing materials outside the next time the weather is nice. This will give their minds a break and their brains a good boost.

Freedom, but not that much

Part of being creative is letting go of control, but there is freedom in having limits. Structure is good for creativity.

Drawing prompts give kids just enough ideas to get their creative juices flowing. You can give them to your kids at home, on the road, or in restaurants or waiting rooms to keep them busy.

And the best part is that no two drawings will ever be the same, even if all the children were given the same idea. Because each child has his or her own ideas, interests, way of thinking, developmental stage, and so on.

Dad walks with her daughter

When kids aren’t drawing, have them look for inspiration

Children can think about drawing even when they aren’t. We can help them do this in small, everyday ways. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Plan field trips to your local art museum or a nearby gallery every so often. Take the time to look at the art and talk about it.
  • When you go for a walk together, put your observation skills to work and point out the colors and shapes in nature.
  • Pay close attention to things in everyday life, like clouds, trees, cars, shoes… and notice how they are different from how we usually draw them.
  • Tell them to write down their ideas in a notebook. When the child sees something interesting, they should write it down in the notebook as an idea for a drawing to do later.

Looking forward to getting down to draw? Start with these drawing activities

It can be hard to find the time to think of creative activities for your child. If you have trouble coming up with ideas, these drawing exercises can help.

These worksheets are meant to help children learn how to think in new ways, make decisions, solve problems, have confidence, and do many other things that are important for creative thinking. Most importantly, kids will find them fun, interesting and will enjoy the beauty of drawing.

Some of my favorites include:

Empty Museum Creative Worksheet - LittleBigArtists

Empty Museum

What a boring museum! Where are the artworks? Draw them.

Visual Music Creative Worksheet - LittleBigArtists

Visual Music

Listen to the music and draw the images, shapes, and colors it conveys to you.

Exploring the deep Creative Worksheet - LittleBigArtists

Exploring the Deep

This submarine is searching for new marine species. Can you draw them?

Roll An Alien Creativity Worksheet - LittleBigArtists

Roll an Alien

Roll the dice and draw according to the number. What kind of alien will emerge?

What Are You Thinking Creative Worksheet - LittleBigArtists

What Are You Thinking?

Draw inside your head what you are thinking or what interests you.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *