The Art Process

I have a sneaking suspicion that my older son may not currently be the biggest fan of doing art.

In addition to these (surprisingly tactful, for a three-year-old) responses, I was once invited to finish a project for him. “You can do the rest, Mama.” Can I? Great. I was hoping you’d get out of the way and let me have at that googly-eyed toilet paper roll bunny.

I learned long ago that he doesn’t like “messy” stuff like apparently all toddlers do. No problem; I don’t want our kitchen to smell like shaving cream anyways. But it seems these days that art in general isn’t his thing.

It’s fine. He doesn’t have to like art. He’s a smart, curious kid, but just not about that right now.

 I would, however, like to stop making a lot of work for myself for no reason. (I touched on this in my Pintimidating post last year).

See what I mean in this visual of the art process, in terms of time and effort:

It’s all those fabulous preschooler blogs I subscribe to! I get all inspired to channel my teacher self and let my kids create and develop skills through exploring new materials (and maybe try them out myself).

I used to teach Kindergarten. Shouldn’t I be good at this?

I know!… it’s the peer pressure. A kid will do an activity if others are also doing the same thing. Kind of like why your toddler will merrily eat peppers at daycare.

I could showcase an album of my “Pinterest Preschooler Art Activity Fails”, only they’d mostly look like unused materials and white paper with a crayon line on it. And maybe a kid in the background dancing around pretending the two halves of a plastic Easter egg are his eyes.

So a friend and I came up with the idea of alternating hosting playdates with her three-year-old and preparing an art or sensory activity. Her hit-and-miss experiences are similar to mine, so we figure we can make half the effort and hopefully at least one of the boys will enjoy the activity, so it won’t be a total loss.

This week I prepared templates for an activity I found online; Wet Chalk Tape Resist Easter Eggs. Looks great for a preschooler, and what nice results they got!

Aaaaand it bombed, and royally. Both of our kids had a sing-songy “Alll done!” after about two chalk lines.

It’s probably for the best because the tape I used (the only kind I had) tore the paper, even though it came off fine on my test egg. I might’ve felt bad if they’d spent more than 15 seconds on the activity.

(I never claimed to be good at art. Drawing, yes, art, no. Even my art teacher in high school said my style was all the same and too “cartoony”).

So anyway, I think we’ve concluded our kids are more into science-based activities these days. Good. Next nice day, Mentos and Diet Coke geysers out in the driveway. No prep!


P.S.: If you’re in the Ottawa area, come see me and some fantastic fellow bloggers read at the Blog Out Loud event, which is part of the Ottawa International Writers’ Festival. Blog Out Loud is being held at 6:30pm on April 29 at 120 Lisgar St. It’s free and promises to be a great time. (I might even wear “no pants “ for the occasion!) Hope to see you there.

P.P.S.: You can now follow CCG on Twitter!


Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Babies & Toddlers, Family, Moms

About the Author ()

I am a lifelong (award-winning!) cartoonist and mother of two delightful boys, aged 7 and 5. I like to view today's adventures in parenting as material for tomorrow's cartoon. Looking at family life through "cartoon-coloured glasses" helps me keep the all-important sense of humour required for raising kids... even for the events that don't seem so funny at the time.

Comments (7)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Victoria Ess says:

    You’re so talented!! That sounds like a fun event and I wish I was in the area!

  2. Lea S. says:

    This is a funny post, had me laughing out loud at the start. My experiences with my son are similar. Happily my two daughters both enjoy art, but even with them, I have had activities that bombed. I love the pie graph, sums up so much perfectly!

  3. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    loved the cartoons. Children are all quite different thankfully, it would be very boring if they all liked exactly the same thing. Some kids love doing arts & crafts others love playing hockey or riding a bike. It’s sometimes very hard to find out exactly what it is a child loves doing, some just love to read and not too much else. To each their own I say.

  4. Brenda A says:

    You are correct in that kids are all so different. Some could craft all day and some run the other way! Embrace their interests. I have two “all day crafters” have they have no holds bar access to the craft cupboard. They really could sit there for hours together creating!

  5. Janet says:

    Yup, all kids are different for sure. I was never a sportsy kid. Spent one summer out in right field playing softball. At least it was good to have the opportunity so I could know it wasn’t for me!

  6. KD says:

    I’ve felt badly for not doing more art projects with my 23-month-old. This blog post has made me thing twice about the guilt. 🙂

  7. kathy downey says:

    Awe a funny post to start Art can be such fun for some

Thank you for commenting! Your comment is moderated before being published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.