In the quest to support Pebble’s interest in drawing I had a rummage around and came up with a new combination of tools for her to try: coloured chalk and black paper.
I put the materials out on the table, stood back, and watched to see what would happen.
“I want to draw a circle!”, Pebble announced. She picked up some chalk, hesitated over the page, then dropped the chalk and said, “you do it, Mummy”.
This happens quite often in Pebble’s drawing sessions. Either she’s too hesitant to start, or she is so focussed on the first line that she creates that she appears overwhelmed by the need to fill the rest of the page, and asks for help.
My strategy has been to model the skill that she is asking for help with. When I have a go, she is much more ready to have a go too. If she is still struggling to draw independently I will support her hand to draw a few lines, then she has a go herself.
This time turned out a little differently. As I drew a few shapes Pebble became very interested in the chalk dust that was created at the edge of each shape. She pushed it with her fingers, and rubbed it into her hands, then smiled broadly at me.
We have used chalk on a chalk board easel a lot, but have never experimented with chalk dust. Having the paper and chalk on a flat surface allowed the dust to collect and be played with.
Pebble placed her chalky hand on the nearest piece of paper and watched as a handprint was left behind. She repeated this again and again, layering her handprints.
I showed her how to make lots of chalk dust, rubbings the chalk back and forth on the same spot on the paper. Pebble collected up the dust and made more and more impressions.
It is easy to create opportunities for young children to experiment with art.
- use materials that are good quality – avoid frustration by supplying materials that will actually work!
- allow time and space for exploration
- be open minded – you don’t always need to have an end product in mind. Just see where the activity goes. It’s all about the process of creating, not the product.
- have fun!
Why not check out my eight tips for supporting young children’s drawing.
Have you used art materials in a different way lately? Do tell!