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Encouraging 4-yr-old to draw and write

My just turned 4 yr old boy doesn’t like to draw or write. He tells me he "doesn't know how" and won't even attempt it. He has easy access to thick crayons/felt pens and paper at home, but when we sit down to do drawing or colouring, he would prefer to make things with craft supplies (gluing, cutting, etc) or do painting. Our GP said he should be drawing figures with 3 distinct parts and writing his own name by now. Any tips on how to encourage him to take up or even attempt some drawing/writing

Anna,

 

This is not unusual, particualrly for boys, and with respect I would disagree with your GP in his assertion about writing names and drawing.  There is tremendous variation in child development and as such equally tremendous variation when young children might hit particular milestones.  Generally speaking, fine motor skills are not well developed in boys at that age but will improve in time particularly if they are doing other things like gluing, cutting and painting.  Your son will begin drawing when he is ready and should not be pushed to do so for this could create a range of anxiety related issues and frustrations. My best advice would be to allow him to do what he enjoys and for him to see you or other family members draw...more often than not children will look to mimic their parents and siblings without being told to do so.  Continue to provide opportunities but don't force anything and I am confident he will be drawing in the not too distant future.

Dr Michael Nagel

Dr Michael Nagel

Associate Professor, School of Education, University of the Sunshine Coast

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