How to Organize Space for Making Art and Inspire Toddlers to Draw More I will start this post with a confession. Far too often for my liking I concentrate on where and how to create instead of simply sitting down and starting the creative process. I worry about how much time I have left before Budster wakes up from a nap, and whether I have the right size of a sketchbook for this project. Should I look for one on-line? Should I clean the table? Should I sort my paints by brand? Oh well, Budster is awake anyway. I do believe that creating art is first and foremost about the desire to do so; however, last week I was amazed at how much difference re-organization of Budster’s art space brought to his creative pursuits.

Over the last year, Budster had pencils available to him at all times. They were big, chunky pencils with stems made of non-lacquered wood in case Budster decides to gnaw on them . In reality, he did not seem interested in putting them in his mouth. In fact, he did not show much interest in them at all. Once in a while, he would take them off the shelf in their neat cup and play with them on the floor as if they were sticks, but that was about it. I thought that twelve pencils might be too much for him and left three or four at a time. No interest. That was the shelf which got least attention from him for a long time: a sketchbook and a cup with some pencils inside.

I came to the conclusion that the time for drawing had not come yet, and it did not bother me. Budster and I did a lot of painting, and once in a while he would draw with markers. He did like markers in his mouth as well, so after returning in the room and finding a blue-mouthed toddler I had to put them away for a while. I had to be the one who decides when we paint and draw, but I wanted to give Budster the opportunity to choose for himself.

Last week, I did some reorganization of Budster’s play space. I like doing it once in a couple of months: I put away toys he had outgrown and see if I can give other toys a new look and appeal. I freed his table off a farm yard set we had out for a while and put his caddy with a couple pencils and sketchbook there instead.

It made all the difference. Before, the sketchbook and pencils were available, but on the shelf in a corner where he either did not notice them or was not comfortable enough to use them. Now they were put on a sun-lit table by the window, and the white sheets of a sketchbook were too tempting to miss a chance of making a few lines across them. Within a day, he realized that drawing is a lot of fun and did not want to stop.
How to Organize Space for Creating Art and Inspire Toddlers to Draw

Budster is sketching next to his Dada.

In the past week, whenever awake, Budster would bring me one of the following things: his shoes (“Mama, let’s go for a walk!”), books (“Mama, read it to me!”), or his pencils (“Mama, let’s go and draw!”) The change from indifference to passion was amazing to me, and suddenly I got to do another of my favourite things with my son. We have spent hours over the last week, sitting together by his small table and doodling. Sometimes he would simply give me a pencil, and other times he would make a special request of what to draw. He would bring me his toy dog, or whisper in his dreamy voice, “Car!” While I was drawing a fish, Budster would take a blue pencil and make squiggles of waves, after which he would bring his toy fish and let them swim in a paper ocean. Or he would let me make an outline and make his first attempts to colour the inside of it. He liked being a part of the process, not just an observer. When Dada made him a toy mammoth, he wanted to have a portrait of his mammoth from Dada, and my husband joined the fun enthusiastically.

How to Organize Space for Creating Art and Inspire Toddlers to Draw

Budster is colouring a pig

How to Organize Space for Creating Art and Inspire Toddlers to Draw

Budster is bringing his toy fish to play in the paper ocean

They say that if you want your child to read, show him that reading is enjoyable by your own example. The same goes for making art. In this particular instance, I also appreciate that sketching teaches how creating art does not have to be an activity with extensive preparations. Budster can stop playing and make a five-minute sketch, then return to his sketchbook later and draw another one.

After three or fours days of drawing, I added more coloured pencils into the caddy and found some long-forgotten wax crayons. I put a few inspiring photographs of animals on the table as well, for animals are one of Budster’s favourite requests to draw. A bunch of realistic Schleich figurines are always lying around and serve as a good reference as well. It is actually fun to try to draw new things and improve. My cars, for instance, are terrible at this point. Budster does not care. He recognizes anything with wheels as a car and greets it with enthusiasm.

How to Organize Space for Creating Art and Inspire Toddlers to Draw

Budster is holding a Schleich pig for Dada to draw.

How to Organize Space for Creating Art and Inspire Toddlers to Draw
It brings me back memories of how much I loved as a child when my mom sat down to draw with me. Her idea of drawing a human included a circle with a couple of commas for eyes and one wide bracket for a smile, but she could make plenty of them for me, and I adored them with all my child’s heart.How to Organize Space for Creating Art and Inspire Toddlers to Draw

Make drawing daily easy for your children. Drawing stimulates their imaginations, improves fine motor skills, and exercises their observational, analytic and problem-solving skills. Draw with them too and make it a part of family fun!

On Tuesdays, we are going to share with you our art-related projects. You can check all of them by following this link. Please, come again next Tuesday, and if you want to stay updated on other stories from Adventure in a Box, consider subscribing to our Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram pages. Thank you for reading!