On those rainy, summer days in your childhood when you couldn’t get outside to play, you might remember your mom or dad bringing out some printer paper and a big box full to the brim of markers, half-broken crayons, and newly sharpened colored pencils. You sit down at the kitchen table, grab a fresh piece of paper, and stick your tongue to the side as you concentrate heavily on putting your crayon to the paper just right. Your creative mind bursts with visions of your favorite superhero, the prettiest flower, or dinosaurs in outer space. And you draw for hours, forgetting that it was ever raining at all. And the best part? Mom and Dad’s smiling faces as you show them every single one of your completed masterpieces.

As you may have guessed, art is important not just for creating memories like the one above… In fact, drawing is beneficial whether you’re 1 or 100. But there are also 3 critical benefits to spending time drawing, especially with your child:

  1. Creating a stronger bond between parent and child

  2. Helping your child develop fine motor skills

  3. Teaching them healthy outlets to express emotion

Create A Stronger Bond With Your Little One Through Drawing

Allowing your child time to draw and share with you in their finished projects is precious time for your Little one to feel validated and loved while fostering their creativity and free minds. However, that quality time can be taken a step further when you yourself join in on the fun. Especially for children whose love language is Quality Time or Words of Affirmation, sitting with your Little and drawing beside them while you can chat and listen to music can be a great alternative to sitting on the couch catching up on Bluey, Paw Patrol, or Sesame Street. Drawing gives you a physical activity to do together – especially when you join efforts to draw together on the same paper, or choose the same drawing prompt at the same time. You can even create goofy faces together by folding the paper in half and having each of you draw half a face on each side before you unfold it to reveal the final silliness. In this way, drawing together builds the physical, emotional, and social skills your child needs to bond with you more closely. (Bonus: you can even hang up your shared creations on the fridge to give constant reminders to your Little of how much you love spending time with them).

Help Your Child Develop Fine Motor Skills

Drawing at an early age will help your child TENFOLD when it comes to learning to write. When children draw, they’re using small and under-used muscles in their tiny hands and fingers that will help them when it comes time to write the alphabet. They’ll gain an understanding of their own hand-eye coordination and you’ll watch as their self-confidence skyrockets. Drawing at an early age also teaches children the concept of cause and effect. There’s a reason you might find many children with their tongues stuck out as they focus. 😝 That’s because the impact of their marker on the paper might surprise them, and so they have to dig deep for new concentration that will make their mind’s vision a reality. They focus on how to take the squiggles they’re creating on the page and transform them instead into a tall tower with a princess in the window. They quickly learn how their actions can make their imagination come to life.

Drawing Is A Healthy Outlet To Express Emotion

As adults we can often forget how frustrating it can be for children who are experiencing a wide array of emotions, but are unable to verbally express what they want, how they feel, or something they need. Drawing provides a physical, sensory way for your Little one to express their emotions in a healthy way when they might feel angry, sad, or on the verge of throwing a tantrum. In my own life, my 4-year old turns to drawing when he’s feeling frustrated. Instead of screaming, kicking, or crying, he turns his negative energy to drawing. And I can see as the tension in his face dissipates as curiosity and creativity take the place of anger and frustration. The simple act of averting attention to something positive has helped him cope with his normal fluctuation of emotions since he started drawing almost daily at 18 months old.

As a parent, you’re probably already aware of (and maybe even stress out about) the fact that bonding with your children early will determine a lot about your relationship with them as they age. Drawing is a simple, easy, and cost effective way to bond with your child in a new and creative way. Not only will it strengthen your bond together, but you’ll also find your own creativity and appreciation for art growing as you join in. You’ll watch as your child’s determination increases, their motor skills improve, and their emotions stabilize.

Nothing is more rewarding as a parent than seeing how proud and excited your child is about something they’ve created themselves. Drawing together becomes even more meaningful when the person they immediately want to share their artwork with is you. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to dig out that printer paper, collect a big box of markers, crayons, and colored pencils, and watch as your child’s creativity blossoms. Happy drawing 🙂