My little artists

Drawing is a daily activity at our house. In fact, the colored pencils have a permanent spot on our dining table.

Colored pencils on the dining table

Colored pencils on the dining table

We also have markers, crayons and paint in the downstairs closet, easily accessible thanks to our IKEA storage bins. My six-year old has shown a special talent for drawing after he turned four. Since then, his drawing abilities have improved steadily and now, he gets to help out and advise his little brother. And excellent drawing skills turn into beautiful handwriting, so I can’t complain.

Today I’m using my bragging rights as a mom to display a couple of my kids’ latest masterpieces. Isn’t that what moms are for?

My youngest still has a lot of room for improvement but by now I can often figure out what he’s drawn. At four and a half years old, he mostly likes to draw dinosaurs and monsters caught in dramatic situations.

Here’s an undiscovered species of dinosaur (similar to a Tyrannosaurus Rex but with a longer neck, as he describes it), right next to an erupting volcano. The purple shapes at the bottom are the dinosaur’s eggs and you’ll notice it’s raining (a lot). All I can say is, that’s a lot of teeth!

My four year old's drawing of a dinosaur

My four year old’s drawing of a dinosaur

My six-year old drew this Puss in Boots from the latest movie when he wasn’t even six, from a small image on my cell phone. Right on!

Puss in Boots drawing by my 6-year old

Puss in Boots drawing by my 6-year old

He loves Lego Ninjago, ninjas and superheroes, so that’s usually what he draws. He also likes to draw vehicles: police cars, helicopters, submarines, you name it. What can I say, he’s a boy!

This past weekend, he drew an underwater diver digging up precious gems. The only words that came out of my mouth when I saw his finished drawing were: “This is sooooo cool!” I love the details in his drawing: the rock structure, the regulator, the diving suit and flipper color theme and patterns…

Kid art - underwater diver

Kid art – underwater diver

If he can draw like that at not even six and a half, I can’t wait to see how well he’ll be drawing in a few years. Actually, I can’t wait to see how both of them will be drawing in the future. I’ve drawn all my life too and I’m excited to see how much they like doing it. And you should see the Lego structures they create! But that’s for another post.

Do your kids have special talents? Did you have special talents as a kid? If so, do you still display your talents today?

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37 responses to “My little artists

  1. I always love your kids’ drawings. They have amazing artistic talent. Their attention to detail is so fun to see.

  2. My son drew like yours for several years and he was really good too then one day he just stopped – it was so weird. I still have storage boxes full of scrapbook after scrapbook of Pokemon characters – ha! Your boys are very talented.

    • Oh, no, don’t tell me that! Do you know how old he was when he stopped and why? I used to draw almost every day until I got to high school and there was no more art class, and I was repeatedly told by everyone around me there was no career in art.

      • I’m sure your boys won’t stop! Ming stopped abruptly at about 8 or 9 when school work took over. I think nowadays art is given a bigger place in education so don’t worry!

      • Oh, forget about that! There’s very little room for art in the American classroom (my son does less than an hour a less of “artistic” activities). But I think if I continue to encourage it at home and participate in art with them (not just tell them but also walk the walk), we’ll have a better chance.

        I love reading what some children’s book illustrators say about their childhood and how everyone told them their doodles were a waste of time. They’re living examples that by sticking to something, you can become very talented!

  3. Those are really good! I miss the days my kids used to draw for me. My windows and fridge used to be covered with artwork. Now it’s a rare piece that gets brought home from art class by the youngest. The oldest no longer does any art work.

    Speaking of the oldest, he was sitting in my den with me when I opened up this post on your website. He saw your blog title, and at first glance he thought it said “Protecting Manhood” instead of “Perfecting Motherhood.” He wondered what in the heck I was reading!

    • I hope that no matter what type of art they do at school (or not), they’ll continue at home. As long as we don’t have video games and cable TV, they’ll have to find ways to entertain themselves, whether it’s imaginary plan, art, Lego, or reading. My six-year old’s teacher recently told me a lot of younger kids don’t have any imagination, which she finds shocking, but not surprising with all the computer and video games out there that ask a child to choose and doesn’t give open ended opportunities. Pretty sad.

      As for your son renaming my blog, I love it! It’s funny how our mind reads things that are not there. I do it all the time!

  4. Mo Willems family draws at the table after meals. Great idea keeping the colored pencils on the table. Great little artists by the way.

    • How funny, I almost talked about Mo Willems’s big roll of paper of his dining table! And I love how he painted his dining room walls with special chalkboard paint so his guests can doodle during dinner. Now, that’s my kind of dining room!

  5. Milka, this is WONDERFUL! I love how you say the colored pencils have a permanent place on the dining table…good for you…lucky boys!!!

  6. They are charming! Will you save them?

    I still have a cardboard paper doll’s house Spud made with a friend when he was about nine.

  7. Thanks for sharing the work/play of your budding artists with us. Your 6-year-old draws better than me. ;)

  8. I love the artwork – especially the underwater diver. That’s so great that they draw all the time. Have you seen the plates that can be made out of drawings like that? I’m sure these days anything can be made out of them, but a few of my drawings from long ago were made into plates – then it was fun to eat off of them!

    • Oh, decorative plates, how fun! I’ve seen the mugs but stayed away from them since I know the kids will probably break them, but I need to look for plates. That’s a great idea and it would be a very fun project on a rainy day. Thank you for the suggestion!

  9. These drawings are wonderful!! Clearly your six year old has amazing talent!!! I think that your four year old does too, I absolutely love that dinosaur picture.

    One of my proudest achievements as a mother is that my children have great imaginations. All three girls are talented at drawing (I’m awful, a stick man is about my limit) and they all love stories. telling them, writing them, reading them.

    When the girls were little they used to build fantastic ‘lands’ out of all kinds of materials with various things inside like a fairy castle, a shopping centre, a circus, a farm. You couldn’t find the carpet because the floor was so covered and the ‘lands’ would regularly take three days to build. They had back-stories for each character that lived in the ‘land’.

    My son, like me, can’t draw well at all. His talent is definitely playing the guitar. But he doesn’t like to practise. I’m not too great at dealing with watching talent going to waste. He also has a great singing voice.

    We make up stories together sometimes. They all love it, but the girls often get annoyed by their brother who is destructive: “And then a bomb exploded…” “And then a flood came and destroyed everything…” “And a dinosaur came along and bit off his head..”

    I think we hold the key in nurturing and encouraging our kids imagination. I banned the word bored in our house. In order not to be bored they should be interesting people and they would become that by finding things to do that interested them.

    Like you, we always had pens and paper and books all over the house. It always surprises me when I visit someone with kids and they don’t have paper and pens?!?

    Oh – my six year old girl keeps drawing princesses!!! ;-)

    • Wait till you see my four-year old’s drawing in today’s post, it’s amazing!

      I’m bored if something I’ve never, ever heard my kids say at our house. I don’t even need to ban it. They have tons of imagination and “go on adventures” all the time. The downside is, things can get pretty messy but it keeps them well occupied in a creative and happy way. That’s what childhood is all about, isn’t it? We have very few extracurricular activities (drawing, pool in the summer, etc) because I want them to have free playtime with no adult interference. The whole day they are told what to do in school and with me. They deserve a few hours of time to themselves when they get to do just what they want. Between playing, drawing and reading, they’re always busy!

      • That’s the key, I think, letting them have free time so they learn to amuse themselves. Sadly, so many parents think childhood is about every hour containing organized activities.

        Having said that, my neighbour has the absolute opposite approach. Her kids are pretty much not allowed in the house (I suspect in case they make a mess). That means they are in the street with a few toys apart from doing homework. A couple of weeks ago I saw the little girl scraping a snow shovel along the pavement for a couple of hours – there was no snow at all. When the snow did return, it had already been shovelled by the time she came home from Kindi, so she spent her time shovelling the snow back into the pathway/road.
        The poor kids have nothing to do.
        However, the little girl, who’s the same age as my daughter has no social skills. She hits my daughter if I invite her to play, and she won’t listen to what I say. When I gave her chalks to draw with my little one on the terrace she just scribbled through my daughter’s pictures.
        It’s a real shame.

        You can be assured that your boys will grow up feeling confident and loved, creative and well-educated.

      • Ah, that’s so sad for those poor kids. I think there’s a clear line between parenting from afar and not parenting at all. I try not to interfere with my boys’ free play, except when they do things where they could get hurt (and boys find a lot of opportunities to be unsafe!). Otherwise I don’t dictate what they play with, unless they ask for props. If they go outside, it’s only in our backyard so I can see them at all times and they’re fenced in. My job as a parent is to make sure they have the appropriate clothes for the weather and have food and drink available. We spend plenty of time together eating, watching DVDs, getting around town and reading/cuddling, I feel they can have a couple of hours a day all to themselves. I know I’d love that!

  10. Hey, what happened here? I was following you but this says I’m not. Strange.

    You have talented kids and as their mom, you get full bragging rights.

    • Haha, thank you! You know, WordPress works in mysterious ways, because I was following your blog too and I stopped receiving new post notifications. I saw you commenting on another blog post and thought, hey, what happened to Robin’s posts? I thought you took a blog break. What the heck, WordPress?

      • Yesterday, I discovered another blog (Subtle Kate) I loved to follow had dropped off. She must think I’m a heel. The last post of hers I received was telling us she has breast cancer. I commented on her post and then was never heard from again. I saw her comment on another blog and thought the same thing about her as you thought about me. Yes, what is up WordPress?

      • It’s not the first time it’s happened to me either. Technology is definitely not perfect!

  11. Pingback: WWW Wednesdays – December 19, 2012 | Perfecting motherhood

  12. I can’t seem to comment above!! I’ve chatted too much. ;-)

    Oh to have two hours a day to do what we want. :-) My two eldest are up right now baking for their class. They’d normally be in bed hours ago but they wanted to do something nice for their fellow students last school day of the year. They’ve done a great job but the kitchen looks like a flour bomb exploded.

    I feel sorry for my neighbours kids. Can you believe that their mother is a local Kindergarten teacher? I think it’s great for kids to play outside too, but only in a safe environment, like you, and not all of the time. Their youngest was out already age three, in the street. We don’t have many cars driving by but those that do are often driving super fast. Then there’s the river 50 meters in front of our house. My littlest is 6 and she’s only allowed in the garden. And even then I check her all of the time. Some may think I’m paranoid, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.
    A few weeks ago I drove up the hill and saw her son must have almost caused an accident. Several cars on the main road had come to a standstill and the boy was on his bike in the middle of the road, had I been driving recklessly, I could easily have hit him, as he was on the bend. He was looking behind him and it was quite clear something had happened. I am constantly fearful that I don’t see one of those children and knock them over.

    • Now, that’s really scary! And I’m not talking about your kitchen… It’s shocking to hear their mother is a kindergarten teacher, out of all people. She clearly is burned out and the last thing she wants to see when she gets home is another kid, including hers. :-(

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