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Old 10-08-2012, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Unfortunately I have gotten into the habit of drawing things for my son. He's now almost 2 1/2 and we started with drawing / coloring maybe a year ago. It all started innocently enough but by now whenever we color it is him dictating exactly what I should draw for him. I try to direct the "art" in a more free-form direction, because I think it squelches his creativity if he's trying to draw things, or perceives art as always having a goal. Especially at this age, and some would argue any age including adult creative endeavors, art should be about flowing from one's own inner creative place and not necessarily trying to make something or achieve an end result. So I don't want to present coloring / drawing / art to him as always making something, if that makes sense. I think we all know that two year olds pretty much just scribble anyhow. Theory aside, I wonder if we should just hide the pencils and paper for awhile and try again in a few months and never draw any*thing* again.....or what?! Rather than just draw what he tells me, I have now started using the word "design" and say "I'm drawing a design". He does like to scribble and color and does do it on his own, but I feel like our "art" sessions have gone in a direction I didn't intend and don't like, as there are times he won't even pick up the crayons and just wants me to draw his ideas. Not only do I feel like he's just sitting there bossing me around and after awhile I don't WANT to draw any more trucks dammit.....but I really feel that children should be given space to just be creative and draw or paint or whatever, without adult intervention.

 

What should I do here? Does anyone else have this problem? When I flat out refuse to draw another car or street or whatever, he gets really mad, and our art sessions end in both of us being frustrated and annoyed. We also are going through way too much paper as he wants a fresh piece for every new idea he has. What to do???!!


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Old 10-08-2012, 08:07 AM
 
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Have you tried a magna doodle? It would at least save paper and the novelty might get him interested enough To draw/scribble on his own. We picked one up at a yard sale and 18 month old DD LOVES it. Best buck I've ever spent :-)

Edited for autocorrect. Phone wanted to say "magma doodle". Now THERE'S a toy with serious recall issues! Lol
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, we have a small travel size one that we use on road trips. He does like it, maybe I should invest in a larger one.

He also loves play dough and I was thinking to start with painting (but fear the mess, I know I need to let go of that though). Maybe those would offer a fresh start....
 


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Old 10-08-2012, 04:34 PM
 
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On the one hand, I totally hear what you're saying about wanting him to go his own direction with his art endeavors.  On the other hand, he KNOWS that crayons can be put to paper and magical pictures pop out of thin air.  Of course he wants you to do it over and over again!  So I think you can almost see it as two different things.  There's artistic expression, and then there's symbol creation.  Both are done with paper and a crayon.  And both are useful.  I have a feeling you might be more successful on the artistic front with something sensory, like finger paints or possibly playdough.  I'll be checking in for more opinions, though, since I am far from an art person.

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Old 10-08-2012, 06:05 PM
 
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Yes, we have a small travel size one that we use on road trips. He does like it, maybe I should invest in a larger one.
He also loves play dough and I was thinking to start with painting (but fear the mess, I know I need to let go of that though). Maybe those would offer a fresh start....

 

My nearly 2.5yo *loves* painting. This is how we minimise the mess. We have a big sheet of plastic which we put on our outdoor table. She takes off all her clothes (sometimes leaves nappy on) and sits on the table to paint. When she's finished we carry her to the bathroom and she has a bath to wash all the paint off. She prefers body art to paper art so she is usually covered head to toe with paint. We could put the plastic on the ground but having it on the table stops her running around covered with paint.

Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012  mdcblog5.gif

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Old 10-08-2012, 07:46 PM
 
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I wish I had anything helpful to say, but my 2yo does the exact same thing. Please let me know if you solve it!!


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Old 10-08-2012, 08:06 PM
 
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First, I think you shouldn't worry: it's just a stage, you haven't permanently ruined his creative spirit, heh. Even if you do keep drawing for him, he'll eventually get sick of it and try doing more himself! Some ideas I had were: take turns- you draw a line, he draws one, emphasis on both of you trying rather than finished product; those bathtub crayons where you draw in the tub- easy to wash; I have a dry erase board and dry erase crayons which are GREAT for saving paper; more outside art with "drawing" in dirt and adding rocks, sticks etc.? 

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Old 10-08-2012, 09:24 PM
 
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Yes, we have this issue with drawing too.  We have an easel and crayons/markers that are available all the time, and every once in a while (usually while I'm busy making dinner), my daughter will draw something on her own.  However, if I'm available, then it just turns into DD dictating what I should draw.  Sometimes I don't mind, but often I get really frustrated - if I ask her to draw with me, she gets upset.  If I stop drawing, she gets upset.

 

If I really want her to participate, it has to be a very sensory art experience.  Paint is awesome, and she is happy to be the one doing the painting.  I usually set the easel up in the kitchen, where it's at least easy to clean up the floor and the sink is handy, and I stay next to her while she's painting.  She wants me to watch, but doesn't demand that I paint things.  She usually starts painting with brushes, but does like to get her hands into it too.  She also loves glueing - I set out a little container of glue (with a brush in it - she can't squeeze the bottle herself yet), construction paper, and a variety of materials for glueing (leaves, cotton balls, torn up tissue paper, sand, feathers).  There are lots of great ideas online for toddler sensory art ideas.  Basically, messy seems to equal more fun:)

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Old 10-09-2012, 07:03 PM
 
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Finger paints have saved me!  We have a big sliding-glass door, so they turn it into a paint wall on the outdoor side.  My daughter used to always tell me what to draw instead of trying it herself, and now if I bust out the fingerpaints, she will do it herself and then show me what she made.  They get a bit expensive though, I need to look online and see if there is a "recipe" so I could make my own.  Good luck, and congratulate yourself that you are at least making time for art projects.  I think these things change with age.
 

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Old 10-10-2012, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input everyone!
I have found loads of great ideas for toddler art and sensory tubs and the like online....and I need to just motivate to get them going. Especially with winter coming on and less outdoor time we *need* indoor fun projects.
I have a problem of fear of mess and not liking cleaning up, which I know I need to get over. I mean, having a toddler has already pushed me outside my comfort zone with that, haha.
Does anyone have more tips for either indoor stuff that is really simple and not incredibly messy, and/or tips on keeping the mess contained, I would greatly appreciate ideas. BTW he is very sensitive and picky about clothes and even getting him to put on a bib or apron, change into "messy" clothes or get nekkie could present struggles, so what to do with clothes? I guess most paints and such wash out, huh?

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Old 10-10-2012, 04:38 PM
 
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Have you tried a chalkboard at all?  It's not messy, and my daughter can entertain herself better on that than with crayons.  I also wanted to mention that DD asks her dad to draw all sorts of things but usually doesn't do it with me.   I think it's because I'm the world's worst draw-er, so nothing I attempt ever looks right.  So...you could try feigning incompetence!
 

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Old 10-10-2012, 04:51 PM
 
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I just stumbled upon a great blog the other day that has tons of great ideas for sensory play that includes a lot of art/painting/mess making. One of her ideas is to create colored bath paint (shaving cream + food dye) which we're really anxious to try out! She has TONS of other ideas, though--a lot of which involve sensory baths which are cool because all the mess just gets washed away after the kids are done. :)  Maybe you can try something like that?

 

My son loves our chalkboard wall, too. He can easily stay entertained with a small foam brush and a little cup of water. He'll just dip it and "water paint" on the wall. Fun and the mess dries clear!

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Old 10-11-2012, 09:09 PM
 
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My DS was actually doing this exact thing for a while. Every time he wanted ME to draw cars. So we tried some new things, they worked, and he gets really excited about them now.

We do collages. I flip through an old magazine, grocery add, anything with pictures, and he tells me which ones he likes. I cut them out for him, put glue on the back for him, and he places them on a piece of paper himself. When he's done placing, I give him some markers to draw on it. He really gets into drawing on these, in a way that he NEVER does on a blank sheet of paper.

 

We also do books. I fold some blank paper in half, and staple the fold to make a small booklet. I give him some toddler scissors and construction paper, so he can cut out shapes. I help him get glue on it, and he arranges them on the pages while he dictates to me what is 'going on' with what he is creating. I write down the exact words that he tells me. He totally loves doing this. We tried drawing books, but that just ended with him wanting ME to draw the pictures, hence the cutting and gluing. The last book he made was called 'A black lion and three frogs on a boat', it was awesome.

 

This is his latest collage, he was really proud of it so we photographed it to put it as the wallpaper on our computer.


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Old 10-14-2012, 09:55 PM
 
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When my 25 mo DD gets too demandy with making me draw on her magnadoodle (GREAT thing, BTW - the big one) I tell her "OK I'll draw ONE more puppy and then all done!" and she totally respects it. Maybe you could start working in the "one more and then all done" routine. It works for my daughter with everything. It's a magical tool LOL

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Old 10-15-2012, 04:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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When my 25 mo DD gets too demandy with making me draw on her magnadoodle (GREAT thing, BTW - the big one) I tell her "OK I'll draw ONE more puppy and then all done!" and she totally respects it. Maybe you could start working in the "one more and then all done" routine. It works for my daughter with everything. It's a magical tool LOL

 

Oooooh, good idea! We do that all the time, everyday for all sort of other limits that need setting. It should work here too. Thanks!


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Old 10-16-2012, 01:21 AM
 
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We went through a similar thing, but at a younger age, where my son just wanted me to draw trains.  Taking a break from drawing, getting him a $15 easel at Ikea, and introducing him to new media (markers, tempera and watercolors) all inspired him to do his own thing.  I kind of missed him wanting me to draw trains after a while.  :-)  I recommend the Crayola tempera paints...they're reasonable washable and much brighter than any other brand we tried.

 

Another thing that was fun for awhile was to sit on the couch next to him when he was watching TV with a big drawing pad and a bunch of markers and just start drawing my own thing on one side of the paper, just abstract doodles.  Then he'd start drawing on the other side.  It was kind of cool to see his scribbles vaguely echo mine in overall shape without being copies.


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Old 10-16-2012, 12:15 PM
 
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Cloudbutterfly, what a great idea!

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