Into the Toddler’s World of Art

Into the Toddler’s World of Art

A toddler’s mind knows no bounds.  She never fails to surprise me with her creative antics.  She’s not very mainstream. I like to think that it’s because of the lack of influence from the goggle box.  Though some people tell me that I’m an extremist.  Yes…. almost 3 years old and she’s still on a tv ban.  She doesn’t miss it, neither does she ask for it.  I will probably write about this in another post.

She occupies herself with reading, playing play doh, chopping up vegetables into unsightly cubes, riding her strider, playing uno etc.

This was one of her Play-Doh efforts when she was 2.5 years of age.

To me, they just looked like lumps of… well, Play-Doh.  But it’s a whole new animal world for her.  They didn’t look too impressive, but she did spend quite a lot of them “sculpting” them.  To her, they were a fish, an elephant, a chicken, a giraffe and an ant.  At first thought, she was probably just dishing out the names on the spot.  So I asked her again,”Can you tell me what this is?” (Pointing to the chicken.) “Mommy, chicken!” Hmm.. ok… “What about this one?” (Pointing to the fish) “Fish…”  She was giving me the were-you-paying-attention-to-me-when-I-named-them-just-now kind of look. Hey! She’s pretty consistent!! They all looked the same to me, but she could tell the difference.  Well, it’s her artwork after all.  So she did sculpt according to images, although her fine motor skills probably weren’t advanced enough yet. I was pretty amused by it all.

I kept wanting to enrol her in an art class, so that she could do her messing around with better instructions.  I am not too artistically inclined, my art at school was mainly passable but never Van Gogh standard, ok ok that was too much to ask for… make that never “A” kind of standard.  I finally got around to putting her in a trial class with Little Artist’s at Mandarin Gardens.  She was terribly excited at the thought of it. On that day, she was the one fussing, reminding us to bring her for art class.  Her class was meant for ages 2.5-6 and unaccompanied.  She went through the door, said “hi” to the teacher, put on her apron and didn’t even look back. (unfilial girl!!!)  I was still busy hovering around at the glass door, trying to see if she could adapt to it.  She was already fully focused on drawing something with a pencil, with her tongue slightly sticking out at the corner of her lips.

When I came back to pick her up, this was what was presented to me… She was mighty proud of it.

Huh?! “Did the teacher help you draw this???”

“No! I did it myself!” (looking a little offended)

“She didn’t draw just a little bit???”

“Only a little bit here and here” (Pointing to the bottom part of the top 2 wings)

“That’s all??”

She nodded her head.

Wow! I was kind of blown away.  It’s not fantastic, but it kind of exceeded my expectation.

The teacher gave an account of what she could do and couldn’t do so that if she’s transferred to another class, a report would be sent to the permanent teacher so that she could progress from there.

“She can follow instructions really well. When I pointed in a clockwise direction and she actually drew the round circle according to the size indicated by my finger. Same goes for the wings.  She couldn’t draw the wings very well, but when I pointed 2 slanting lines and told her to join them with a letter C, she did it perfectly.  She wanted to colour everything green and blue though.”

“Oh, Green and blue are her favourite colours.”

“Ah, that explains it. When I asked her what colour she wanted for the sky, she said green. I didn’t want to limit her creativity by asking her to change the colour.  I asked her what colour for the grass, she thought for a while and decided to use blue for the sky and green for the grass.  She wanted to paint the body blue again, but I told her that it wouldn’t show against the blue sky so she changed it to pink.  She chose all the colours herself.  Her brush control is quite good for a 3.5 years old as most of the toddlers at this age can’t hold their brushes properly and are not able to draw at places indicated.”

“Erm, she’s not 3 yet.”

“Not 3?! I thought she’s almost 4!”

“She eats a lot….” =.=”

“Oh, usually I let the ones who are 3 years and below do printing because they are not able to control the brushes well. I will make an indication that she’s able to control the brush so that the next teacher knows her level of competency.”

I think all those writing practices my Mom did with her at home kind of paid off… She’s now eagerly asking when’s her next lesson, she wants to draw a cat…

This is her latest “creation”.

She suddenly announced that she was hungry, and wrapped a little plastic stand in tissue paper.  She found her xylophone stick and asked my Dad to tie it to her messy wrapped stand with rubber band…

“Nom Nom Nom… ice cream!!”

Some people think it’s because I deprived her of eating ice creams that she had to resort to make believe ice creams with tissue paper… Sigh.. my fault again..  At least she’s able to create what she wants…

Though her creations aren’t prodigally fantastic, and she probably won’t turn out to be a professional artist, but I like to think that her unlimited imagination and ability to use material at hand to create her little world, will aid her well when she grows up.
I hope that we are teaching her how to fish and not doing all the  fishing for her.  She’s growing up beautifully… my 宝贝…

0 thoughts on “Into the Toddler’s World of Art

  1. It’s a nice piece of drawing. But, but, but, I still believe strongly that arts shouldn’t be taught, not until they are much older……. It is one of the many ways of how the kids can express themselve, if they wish to use it to. Though she can “produce” nice pieces now, but the process might kill her imagination and creativity and most importantly, this is not what she wants to express! Why drew a dragonfly? Did she WANT to draw a dragonfly? What she wanted to tell by drawing a dragonfly? She just saw it in the garden? No, because the teacher teaches me to. See my point? Just my opinion, no offence taken, ya 🙂

    1. True. The dragonfly was suggested by her teacher. She mentioned that she would like to paint a cat in the next lesson.

      She does do her own creative art at home as compared to one lesson a week. The purpose of the lesson is more on techniques. Personally I believe that in order to bring out creativity you still need the right tools.

      It’s just like you may have a picture in your head but you are not able to express it to your satisfaction because you are lacking in skill. That would be a pity.

      Of course, over restriction of creativity is bad. 🙂

  2. Just sharing 🙂 Follow your heart! And so long YH enjoys it 🙂

    Different perceptions about what children art is bah. To me, they don’t need any techniques. What we need to provide is the drawing / painting materials. If she has a picture in her mind, so long you provide the environment and materials, and if she CHOOSES to express it through painting/drawing (don’t forget she may choose to express it through words etc), she is going to draw it out – though the outcome may not be what you expected – that’s children arts to me 🙂

    1. That’s true. What’s most important is that they are enjoying themselves. There are 101 ways to “draw” a cat. 🙂

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