The Artistic Development of a Three-Year-Old – Not Very Wordless Wednesday

E’s fine motor skills have come a long way in the past six months, much to the relief of everyone. You see, he inherited his dad’s perfectionism, along with his dad’s tendency to get very frustrated with things that don’t come easily.

For a while, he didn’t want to do any colouring at all, because he didn’t think he was good at it – he wanted us to do it. This kinda broke my heart, as an erstwhile serial colouring-contest winner (yeah… I’m still proud of this, so what? They were masterpieces!) and I wanted him to find the same kind of joy in putting pencil crayons to paper.

Fortunately, between the colouring apps for iPad (which are very forgiving, as well as educational, because you can start over with no repercussions) and the book his madly artistic cousin Q sent him for his birthday (validating artistic license) he suddenly went from scribbling and being discontented about it, to making deliberate drawings of actual things.

Here is an early one.

three-year-old's drawing of a boy
“A boy.”

I watched him very carefully draw this one. (It has a trunk, and that’s what matters.)

three-year-old's drawing of an elephant
“An elephant.”

One day he asked me to draw a flower for him, and then he decided to try his hand at one. We were flabbergasted at its delicate proportions.

three-year-old's drawing of a rose
“A rose.”

This last one is pretty darn recognizable, I’d say. E did this one at Grammie and Papa’s, and we were told that the order he drew this was as follows: legs, eyes, head, ears, arms, mouth, shirt.

 three-year-old's drawing of a person
Portrait of the artist, or his baby sister.

I guess the all-encompassing green circle is the shirt. (I think I would have liked to see it with just the legs and eyes.)

Kids are fascinating, n’est-ce pas?

(Leave it to me to write over 300 words on a post I meant to be “wordless”. Haha.)

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12 thoughts on “The Artistic Development of a Three-Year-Old – Not Very Wordless Wednesday

  1. That last one is a really cool picture. There’s a school of thought which says that the detail children draw their bodies with is an indication of what parts they’re actually conscious of most of the time. For example, a child who fidgets a lot without realising it will just draw a face with maybe some arms growing out the sides of it, but no body or legs. Your 3 year old, by those ideas, is really perceptive and observant. Too awesome 🙂

    (came to have a look via nablopomo)

    Take care 🙂

    • diblog says:

      Knight N Daze, thanks for stopping by! That’s a really cool theory, and it makes total sense… Last year I taught a lot of kindergartners and saw SO many drawings of people with legs coming straight out of their heads. No necks, torsos, or tummies. Often lacking hands and feet, or at least digits. Fascinating!

  2. Kids develop at such different paces. It’s too bad we try to rush them so much – expecting boys to sit and READ at age 5. Seriously!

    These pictures are absolutely wonderful!!!
    Amy I. Bloom recently posted..SilentMy Profile

    • diblog says:

      Amy, you’re so right. This past year was the first time I did a lot of working with kindergartners at my school, and I learned so much from them about working with what they can reasonably be expected to do at their age, rather than trying to train them to do things they’re not ready for. At that stage, they are learning EVERY SECOND – and they don’t have to be sitting to do it.

  3. emerge says:

    I love these all – yay, you got the Flower! BUT my favourite is still the one of Khris that is on his fridge. Do you have a photo of it?

  4. emerge says:

    Yeah, I think so! And I think you’ll remember it if you see it. Mebbe we can get K or L to send a photo…

    It’s the one where his legs are sort of inside his face, I think.

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